Calabrese captures Democratic nod for Penn Hills mayor
Penn Hills voters picked Pauline Calabrese as their Democratic nominee for the municipality’s next mayor during the May 21 primary election.
Calabrese, 56, earned 53% of the votes in Penn Hills with all precincts reporting unofficial results. Her opponent, current Councilman John Petrucci, had 47% of the votes.
Current Mayor Sara Kuhn did not seek re-election. Her term expires in December.
Calabrese said it “feels awesome” to know the majority of voters in Penn Hills chose her to be the next mayor.
“I think the people of Penn Hills want to move in a different direction, into a bold future. I just have a different vision for Penn Hills,” she said, moments after learning of her victory at the Moose Lodge 2172 in Verona.
An attorney who works for Notaro & Associates in Downtown Pittsburgh, Calabrese thanked her supporters and said Petrucci was a worthy opponent.
“I’m just excited to move Penn Hills into the future. But this is not about me. It’s about we. It’s about what we in Penn Hills are going to do,” Calabrese said.
Calabrese served as a Penn Hills School Board member from 2014-17 and ran unsuccessfully to be a judge on the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas in 2015 and 2017. She has said she was not part of the school board that led to the district’s financial crisis.
Petrucci said he would not concede until all write-in votes are counted because he hopes to gain enough Republican votes to be that party’s nominee in November.
“There are also absentee ballots that have to be counted. We’ll see,” he said, just minutes after learning of the results at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Verona.
According to the elections division, there were 579 Republican write-in votes for Penn Hills mayor and 25 Democratic write-ins. Petrucci lost the Democratic Party nomination by 257 votes.
In order to secure the Republican nomination, Petrucci must acquire at least 10 write-in votes, said David Voye, director of Allegheny County Elections Division.
Write-in votes and absentee ballots will not be final for another 20 days.
Either way, Petrucci said, he’ll continue to serve out his term on Penn Hills Council.
“I’m still there for two years — I’ll still be doing my work,” Petrucci said.
Penn Hills had 21,987 registered Democrats and 6,422 registered Republicans. According to unofficial results from the Allegheny County Elections Division, turnout was 27%.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .