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Republicans, Democrats get set for primary

| Sunday, March 2, 2003

Plum Borough's Democratic and Republican committees are gearing up for the May 20 primary with full slates of candidates in both camps.

There are three council and five school board seats up for grabs.

Democratic Committee Chairman Richard Hrivnak said incumbent councilmen Don Knopfel and Dave Vento received the committee's nod for council seats as did Hrivnak's father, Dick, who is a retired school district employee.

The endorsed candidates for school board are: incumbents Mary Louise Anderson and Tom McGough. Anderson gained the party endorsement Friday after school board President Diana Tresco withdrew from the race. Others endorsed are political newcomers Lou DeFabio, Ann Loub and Joe Vaccari.

"I think it's a nice mix," Hrivnak said. "It's always good to see new folks get involved in the process. They are getting involved to put the community first and do the best they can."

Republican Committee Chairman Dave Majernik said this year marks the first time in his five years as the committee's leader that a full slate of candidates has come forward.

Majernik said the committee plans to conduct its endorsement meeting next month.

The Republican candidates for Plum Council are: Chuck McMeekin, a former councilman who in 2001 unsuccessfully ran for mayor; Don Flickinger, son of former Councilman Al Flickinger, a Democrat; and Russell Oft Jr., an unsuccessful candidate for council in 2001.

The slate of Republican candidates for school board include incumbent Jeff Matthews and newcomers Chuck Boggess, Dan Lioy, Paul Olijar and Pete Shuss.

"It is encouraging to me (the slate of candidates)," Majernik said.

Majernik said the Republican candidates plan to run a positive campaign. Majernik said if elected the candidates will focus on fiscal responsibility.

Incumbent Plum Councilman Clem Barbarino, also a Republican, has said he is a candidate. Republican Todd Mink, an incumbent school board member, said earlier this week that he has not decided if he will seek re-election.

The last day to circulate and file nomination petitions is March 11.

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