ShareThis Page
News

Allegheny County Democrats make primary picks

| Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, 10:48 p.m.

Several incumbents seeking to retain their seats in the U.S. and state House won the endorsement of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

Committee members cast votes Sunday at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers building in the South Side to select which candidates the party should endorse in the April primary.

“Most of our energy this year has been devoted to not have Democrats vote against each other but instead concentrate on defeating Republicans,” said DJ Ryan, the committee's executive director.

The committee made endorsements in 30 races, only four of which were contested.

In the closest race of the meeting, committee members voted 102-92 to endorse Steve Larchuk, a Franklin Park attorney and businessman, over Erin McClelland, a Natrona Heights health care professional and businesswoman, for the U.S. House seat in the multi-county 12th Congressional District.

“They were both very popular,” committee chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills said. “They both did what they were supposed to do. We expected it to be very close, and it was close.”

Larchuk won over the committee by running a grassroots campaign, his spokesman, Marty Marks, said.

“He did it without the endorsement of any elected official or labor union,” Marks said.

McClelland's spokeswoman could not be reached to discuss the vote.

The winner of that primary race will challenge Republican incumbent Keith Rothfus in November's general election.

In the other U.S. House race, committee members voted 772-57 to endorse incumbent Mike Doyle of Forest Hills over Janis Brooks, a North Versailles pastor and community activist, in the 14th District.

Patton Mills said Doyle's experience and strong relationship with committee members helped him win the endorsement by such a considerable margin.

“He's just very popular,” she said. “Everyone in Allegheny County supports him.”

Other endorsements included state Rep. Jake Wheatley of the Hill District in the 19th District, and state Rep. Ed Gainey of Lincoln-Leminton in the 24th District.

The committee votes to endorse candidates running for seats in the state House and Senate, and U.S. Representative. The state committee votes to endorse for state races like attorney general, treasurer, auditor general and U.S. Senate, Ryan said.

Staff writer Elizabeth Behrman contributed. Tony Raap is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7827 or traap@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me