TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Insurance agent seeks to unseat state Rep. Petrarca

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Brian Panichelle, Republican nominee for state representative of the 55th District.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

An insurance agent has announced he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge a longtime state representative up for re-election in the 55th district.

Brian Panichelle, 40, said he believes state Rep. Joe Petrarca, a Democrat, has done well to support the district since 1994, but thinks it's time for a change.

“He's been there for (almost) 20 years, and his father (was in office) before him,” he said. “It's not a family business.”

Panichelle, who is owner of Ligonier-based BP Insurance, a part of Nationwide, said his focus on smart spending stems from his professional experience.

“Having run a business for the past 14-15 years, I'm familiar with having to budget or look for funding in creative ways,” he said.

Panichelle, a member of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce as well as the Tri-City Jaycees and Rotary clubs in Latrobe and Ligonier, serves as an elder at Manchester Reformed Presbyterian Church and teaches a class for homeschooled students at Westmoreland County Community College.

He lives in Latrobe with his wife, Heather, and six children.

Panichelle said that to properly use funds from state income tax, he plans to prioritize public safety, education and job creation.

“We need to make sure if we're paying those taxes, how can we put them to the most efficient use to support the things that are important?” he said.

Panichelle will likely run uncontested in the May 20 primary because the March 11 deadline for candidates to file nominating petitions has passed.

In Westmoreland County, the 55th district includes the city of Latrobe; the boroughs of Avonmore, Derry, East Vandergrift, New Alexandria, Oklahoma, Vandergrift, West Leechburg and Youngstown; the townships of Bell, Derry, Loyalhanna and Washington, as well as parts of Allegheny and Unity townships. It also includes Leechburg borough in Armstrong County.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Motorcyclist injured in Sewickley Township
  2. Red Onion reunion possibly the last for Hempfield coal mining village
  3. Heroin suspect out of Westmoreland County jail on $100K bond
  4. Police: Scottdale man had child porn on computer
  5. Judge denies former New Alexandria tree trimmer another chance
  6. Hempfield murderer serving life sentence promises restitution when he’s released
  7. Police: Greensburg man had heroin, stolen gun
  8. Ligonier Valley YMCA project in public phase
  9. Westmoreland torture-slaying convict Smyrnes says death row isolation too cruel
  10. Derry man gets 19-year prison sentence for recording sex assaults of girl
  11. Monessen home invasion ‘ringleader’ denied leniency