Insurance agent seeks to unseat state Rep. Petrarca
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Feud escalates between Westmoreland commissioner, controller
- Greensburg plastic surgeon pleads not guilty to charges of interfering with painkiller investigation
- Westmoreland man charged with firing gun, narrowly missing child
- Wyano woman accused of sex with 15-year-old boy
- Part-time prison guards wanted in Westmoreland
- Hempfield community group wins park auction
- With $4M in bank from municipal authority sale, financially strapped Jeannette exhales
- New charges against Hempfield bicyclist possible
- Robber holds up Family Dollar in Greensburg
- Mt. Pleasant Borough pursues permit parking
- Unity man collects bits of Westmoreland County history