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Aspinwall newcomers deliver upset in council race

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, 12:33 p.m.
Aspinwall councilman David Brown stands outside the borough building in May 2017.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
Aspinwall councilman David Brown stands outside the borough building in May 2017.

It was a big night Nov. 7 for newcomers in the Aspinwall council race, where eight candidates competed for four open seats.

According to unofficial results by the Allegheny County Elections Department, three Democratic candidates with no political experience unseated incumbents to win four-year terms.

Lara Voytko, David Brown and Marcia Cooper each came away with a victory, along with Republican incumbent Ann Marsico who narrowly edged out fellow Republican incumbents Joe Noro and Ann Pawlikowski.

According to the county results, Voytko earned 495 votes; Cooper, 444; Brown, 431; and Marsico, 416. Noro earned 406; Pawlikowski, 404; newcomer Democrat Mary Plakidas, 347; and Republican newcomer David Borland, 326.

“I promise my fellow Aspinwall residents that I will do my very best to keep them fully apprised about any looming issues with respect to Riverfront 47 and any other highly important and unusual issues that arise in our community,” Brown said. “And, to ensure that they remain fully engaged in the decision-making process.”

Riverfront 47, the proposed commercial development that stretches from Aspinwall to Sharpsburg, stirred heated debate over the past year with residents taking sides over traffic, construction and aesthetics.

“Representative government is once again returning to the borough,” Brown said.

Cooper said she spoke to many residents prior to the election and promised that she would protect the borough through careful planning.

“I'm humbled and excited to serve the residents,” she said last week.

“My hope is to do more listening than talking and to treat each resident and member of council with dignity and respect.”

Brown originally had campaigned for the mayor's position as well as a council seat, but threw his support to the Republican candidate Ted Sheerer who came away with the victory. He will replace retiring Mayor Joe Giuffre.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or @tawnyatrib.

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