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Familiar faces returning to office

Tawnya Panizzi
| Thursday, May 22, 2003

Familiar faces are likely to return to local government in the fall, with an Etna incumbent winning the primary race for Ward One, and uncontested races in Blawnox, Fox Chapel and O'Hara.

Results for the Indiana Township District Two supervisors race were unavailable at press time. The race for Republican nominations featured two challengers, Charlie Wolenter and Bob Peterson, taking on incumbent Jeff Peck for a four-year position. Results will be reported in next week's issue of The Herald.

Etna residents saw the only other contested race for municipal leadership in the Lower Valley. Tom Rengers, an eight-year member of council, earned the Democratic nomination for a four-year position, along with newcomer Karen Tomaszewski. They defeated Crystal Bocka in a race to represent Ward One. There were no Republicans on the ballot.

Unofficial tallies have Rengers earning the most votes at 132, with Tomaszewski coming in a close second with 128. Bocka earned 32.

"I've been on council long enough to know that you don't leave anything to chance," said Rengers, who worked the polls outside Calvert Memorial Church on High Street. "People don't know your face. I wanted to make sure I was out there."

Rengers and Tomaszewski waited eagerly for the results to be tallied on Tuesday night. Each came to the church basement for the official word.

"I just want to help out the residents," said Tomaszewski, a resident of town for 26 years. She has no platform, she's just eager to get her feet wet and work toward bettering the borough, said Tomaszewski, a long-time volunteer at All Saints Church.

"I hope I'm worthy and that I prove their trust in me," she said.

Bocka also trekked to Calvert Memorial in the rain to hear what were disappointing results for her. She will consider another run in two years, she said.

"I didn't have a whole lot of time to campaign," said Bocka, a volunteer firefighter and EMT. "If another seat opens up, I will make sure I get out there more."

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