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Preston, Gainey to vie in East End Democratic primary

An East End state House primary will come down to two candidates next month, now that the Commonwealth Court has knocked two names off the ballot this week.

State Rep. Joe Preston, 64, of East Liberty, one of the longest-serving members of the House, will face former staffer and city Democratic Committee chairman Ed Gainey, 41, of Lincoln-Lemington in the April 24 primary. The court ordered William Anderson, 39, of Homewood off the ballot, and Todd Elliott Koger, 50, of Wilkinsburg withdrew his nominating petitions, according to court records.

The last time Gainey challenged Preston, in 2006, Preston won by 92 votes out of about 7,000 cast. Anderson received 524 votes that year. Preston cruised to wins in the next two races, with 61 percent of the vote in a four-candidate field in 2008, and 66 percent of the vote in a three-candidate field in 2010.

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