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2 Alle-Kiski lawmakers to be tested in April primary

| Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008

Only two incumbent lawmakers from the Alle-Kiski Valley will face opposition in the April primary, and only half of the rest apparently will have competition in November.

There also will be few races April 22 among candidates vying for their party's nomination to challenge the incumbent in the general election.

Feb. 14 was the last day for candidates to file nomination petitions for the April 22 primary.

However, residents have until today to file objections to the candidates' petitions, said Leslie Amoros, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Only state Rep. John Pallone, D-New Kensington, and Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry Township, have drawn opponents for their party's nomination, according to the state Election Bureau's unofficial list of candidates.

Robin Redding, 39, of Cranberry Township, is vying for the Republican Party's nomination for Metcalfe's 12th District seat.

John Olesnevich of Middlesex Township is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

The 12th District covers parts of Butler County, locally including Clinton, Jefferson and Penn townships and Saxonburg.

Redding is her party's former communications director in Butler County and once supported Metcalfe in that role.

Redding, a former research chemist and stay-at-home mother of three, said she decided to run because she questioned Metcalfe's integrity and "his lack of accomplishments for the 12th District."

According to Redding, Metcalfe voted against a pension increase for state lawmakers but then enrolled in the pension program.

Metcalfe, 43, who has been in office since 1998, seemed unfazed by the challenge.

"Competition is always expected when you have a two-year (election) cycle," he said. "You just continue to do your work in Harrisburg."

Another newcomer is challenging a House incumbent, Pallone, who is in his fourth term representing the 54th District.

Recently retired Air Force Maj. Anthony G. Shea Jr. of Gilpin said he aims to revitalize the region.

Shea, a 41-year-old father of four children, said that his international experience coupled with technical expertise can help rebuild the 54th District.

No Republicans have filed.

"I want to give my world view experience of rebuilding countries to help rebuild the A-K Valley," said Shea. "I have nothing against Pallone personally, but an out-of-the-box thinker could really help the A-K Valley."

In the Valley, the 54th District includes: Bethel, Cadogan, Gilpin and Parks in Armstrong County and Arnold, Lower Burrell, Upper Burrell, and parts of Allegheny Township and Murrysville in Westmoreland County.

In the 21st state House District, which the Valley includes only part of O'Hara, Democratic incumbent Lisa Bennington is not running for re-election. Vying to replace her are Pittsburgh Democrats Dom Costa, Frank J. Pistella, Brenda Frazier and Len Bodack.

In a congressional race, four Democrats will face off for the right to challenge incumbent Republican Phil English of Erie in November.

All four are from Erie County: Kyle Foust of Harborcreek, Kathy Dahlkemper of Erie, Moise Waltner of Erie and Tom Myers of Millcreek.

English is unopposed for his party's nomination.

English's sprawling 3rd Congressional District includes a small portion of the Valley: Applewold, Cadogan, East Franklin, North Buffalo, West Kittanning, Worthington, and a small part of South Buffalo in Armstrong County; and Saxonburg and Jefferson, Penn and Winfield townships in Butler County.

In addition to those races, these candidates are unopposed in the April 22 primary:

Congress

• In the 4th District, incumbent Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, has no opposition in the primary.

He will face Republican Melissa Hart of Bradford Woods in November. Altmire defeated Hart two years ago.

• 12th District including parts of Allegheny and Armstrong counties: Incumbent John Murtha, D-Johnstown, is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. William Russell of Johnstown is unopposed for the Republican nomination.

• 14th District including parts of Allegheny County: Only incumbent Democrat Mike Doyle of Forest Hills filed for a nomination.

State Senate

• 41st District, including parts of Armstrong, Butler, Westmoreland and Indiana counties: Only incumbent Republican Don White of Indiana, Pa., filed for nomination.

• 45th District, including parts Allegheny and Westmoreland counties: Only incumbent Democrat Sean Logan of Plum filed for nomination.

State House

• 11th District, including parts of Butler County: Incumbent Brian L. Ellis of Butler Township is unopposed in the Republican primary. Buffalo Township's Dave Wilson has no opposition in the Democratic primary.

• 25th District, including parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties: Only incumbent Democrat Joseph Markosek of Monroeville filed for nomination.

• 30th District, including parts of Allegheny County: Only incumbent Republican Randy Vulakovich of Shaler filed for nomination.

• 33rd District, including parts of Allegheny County: Incumbent Frank Dermody of Oakmont is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Republican Jason Davidek of Fawn is unopposed in the GOP primary.

• 55th District, including parts of Armstrong and Westmoreland counties: Incumbent Joseph Petrarca of Vandergrift is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Republican Tom Green of Avonmore has no opposition April 22.

• 60th District, including parts of Armstrong County: Only incumbent Republican Jeff Pyle of Ford City filed for nomination.

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