Democratic challengers defeat Republican incumbents for 3 Plum Council seats
A familiar face returns to Plum Council, along with a couple new ones, as three Democratic challengers defeated Republican incumbents for three, four-year seats.
Unofficial returns from the Allegheny County Elections Division show former councilman Dave Vento was the top vote-getter with 18.5% followed by newcomers Ryan Delaney at 16.9% and Daniel Hadley at 16.5%.
They defeated incumbents Dave Majernik (16.31%), John Anderson (16.09%) and council Vice President David Seitz (15.61%).
“It’s been an honor to serve on council, and I appreciate all the support and votes that I got,” said Majernik, who was seeking his second term. He said emotions ran high in this year’s election and believes poor weather may have kept some supporters from the poles.
“It’s a shame that in politics, people are energized by things they’re angry about but they’re not energized when they’re pleased,” he said. “I think people need to pay attention not only when things are happening that they don’t like, but when things are going on that they like and make sure (council) gets reelected when running for office.
I think council’s doing a good job. We’ve spent more than $1 million on stormwater management over the years. We were working on the situation. It’s a complex situation that would take time.”
Republican incumbents also did not fair well against Democratic challengers in the Plum School Board election.
Majernik said some of that momentum trickled into the council race.
“Somebody who wants to vote the Republican school board members out of office, when they go down the line, they probably vote Democrat for council offices,” he said.
Vento said he was surprised at the results, and is excited to start his fourth, nonconsecutive term.
“I had no plans on coming back until a bunch of people wrote my name on the primary side and had enough votes to be on the ballot,” Vento said. “I didn’t think I’d do this well, but I’ll take it.
“I think that means people signify they’re ready for a change. We’re the recipient of that change, and we want to do whatever we can to make sure more people are included in borough government.”
Vento said the borough’s response to harsh July floods was a major factor for voters.
Council recently formed a storm water task force to address and prioritize flooding issues in the borough.
“Nobody expected them to turn it around over night, but they expected some real sympathy and not lip service,” Vento said. “It didn’t seem like it was their priority. It seemed like they were (forming a task force) to try an appease people that were upset with them. This really impacted a lot of businesses on (Route) 286. That’s a lot of money out of people’s pockets.”
Hadley, majority owner and president of Dad’s Pub & Grub, echoed Vento’s comments.
He said stormwater management and economic development need to be priorities moving forward.
“I’m very surprised of the swing based off the votes that came in this time around,” Hadley said. “Plum has spoken. They want change and fortunately for us, it worked out in our favor. I just hope I can do good by the people who voted for me and for all of Plum. Council’s always a tight race. I’m excited to be able to put my hand in the pile and get to work.”
Council reorganizes in January.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .