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Mayor to consider run as Republican

| Wednesday, May 16, 2001

TARENTUM: Tarentum's mayor of 24 years was likely unseated Tuesday by fewer than 20 votes.

Mayor James Wolfe was edged out in the Democratic primary by Councilman Chuck Behanna.

Since no Republicans are on the ballot for mayor, nomination likely means victory for Behanna in November. However, Wolfe said he is weighing a run on the GOP ticket in the fall.

'I got enough write-in votes as a Republican to win that nomination,' Wolfe said. 'So I'm considering it.'

Wolfe said he wasn't disappointed for himself so much as his supporters, particularly his family.

'I guess there has to be a winner and there has to be a loser,' he said. 'My daughter worked so hard on this thing. I feel bad for her.'

Behanna said he was ecstatic to have won and thanked voters for their support. If Wolfe chooses to run as a Republican, Behanna said he will take on the challenge of another race in the fall.

Meanwhile, he said he would begin planning his agenda.

'My issues are really Tarentum's issues and what I'd like to focus on first is bringing the community together and getting rid of the friction,' he said.

Priorities will include economic development and inclusion of the community in local politics, he said.

'We have a lot to do here in Tarentum and it's not going to happen overnight, but we're going to get right to work on it,' he said.

Behanna lauded Wolfe for his years of service to Tarentum.

'I respect Mr. Wolfe,' Behanna said Tuesday. 'The guy's been in office for so many years. I commend him for his experience. I commend him for what he's done.'

Wynne Everett can be reached at weverett@tribweb.com

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