Election forum planned for Westmoreland commissioner, judge candidates
Candidates for Westmoreland County commissioner and judge seats are expected to attend a question-and-answer forum this month in Greensburg.
The May 14 event is sponsored by the Smithton-based 1776 Freedom’s Calling political action committee. It will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Greensburg Civic Garden Center, 951 Old Salem Road. Admission is free and open to the public.
Kala Mologne, the organization’s chairwoman, said all candidates seeking Democratic and Republican nominations for commissioner and judge in the May 21 primary have been invited.
“I just want the public to come and learn and ask questions before they vote,” Mologne said.
Seven candidates are seeking to replace Republican Commissioner Charles Anderson in the GOP primary. Democratic incumbents Ted Kopas and Gina Cerilli are unopposed this spring. The top two vote-getters from each party will run in November for three seats on the board of commissioners.
Republican candidates for commissioner are: Sean Kertes, Anderson’s chief of staff; retired UPS executive John Ventre from Hempfield; Doug Chew, a microbiologist from Hempfield; Heather Cordial, a senior citizens program director from Hempfield; computer information specialist Paul Kosko of Hempfield; Patricia Fritz, a former chief deputy sheriff; and Greensburg dentist Ron Gazze.
Meanwhile, six candidates — three Republicans and three Democrats — are seeking two vacancies on the county’s Common Pleas Court bench. All six candidates cross-filed, meaning they will run in both party primaries.
The judicial candidates are attorneys: Mike Stewart III, Matt Schimizzi, Jessica Rafferty, Wayne McGrew, Kyle Baxter and Justin Walsh.
Mologne said the 1776 Freedom’s Calling group is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical organization that supports the Constitution and works to prevent socialism.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .