Republican Michael Korns unseats Democrat Joseph Ferguson in Allegheny Township
An Indiana University of Pennsylvania professor will represent Allegheny Township as supervisor after beating out a longtime elected official for an open seat in Tuesday’s election.
Republican Mike Korns collected 58.7% of the votes counted compared to Democrat Joe Ferguson’s 41%, according to the county’s unofficial election results. There were five write-in votes.
Asked why he thought he was victorious, Korns said voters wanted to see changes in the way the township is run.
“What I campaigned on was giving voters a choice to make some changes, and a significant majority chose that, thought that message resonated with them,” Korns said.
This is Korns’ first run at political office. His first two orders of business as supervisor will be to learn about how the township is run and share what he learned from voters with the other supervisors.
His goals are to promote responsible growth in the township and make the township more responsive to its residents — two things he said were a concern of voters he spoke with during the campaign.
“I heard from a lot of voters that they wanted to see smart growth with businesses, retail establishments, to give residents places to shop, places to go and do business, but also employ residents,” he said.
Korns said he intends to work with the other supervisors to make sure residents’ issues and concerns are addressed. Terms on the three-member board are six years.
“They just didn’t think that the township and the township government was as responsible as they could be,” Korns said.
Ferguson said he will continue to serve residents as a board member of the Municipal Authority of Allegheny Township.
He said he is proud of what the township has accomplished in the 12 years he has been a supervisor. He doesn’t feel like he lost, because he’s leaving the township in a better state than it was when he started.
“When I went into office, it was in turmoil. We had debt beyond belief. We had a manager that was micromanaged and ended up leaving the township,” Ferguson said. “In the last 12 years, we raised taxes only one time. We went from $1.8 million in debt to zero. We went from $47,000 in the bank for a fund balance to well over $600,000. I have been a good steward to the township.”
Korns said he appreciates what Ferguson did during his time as supervisor.
“We both ran clean campaigns. There were never negative attacks,” Korns said. “We just gave voters a clear choice, and they made it.”