Judicial Candidates Face Voters at Sept. 20 Forum

September 16, 2021 |

By Emily Scott © Public News Service | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Five of seven judges’ seats in the Supreme Court chamber in the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. (Ruhrfisch photo via Wikimedia Commons. Used under CC BY-SA 4.0, Link.)


Emily Scott, Public News Service:

Pennsylvanians will vote this November to elect judges in the state’s three appellate courts, and a virtual candidate forum next week will allow voters to get to know those running for the Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme Court positions who will make influential decisions.

Two seats are up for grabs in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court, and one each in its Superior and Supreme courts. Pennsylvania differs from some states in that it votes for judges in partisan elections, rather than by merit selection.

Debbie Gross, chief executive officer of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, said it limits the information voters can gather from candidates as they are expected to remain impartial in light of issues that could arise on the bench.

 
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Incumbent Duquesne Mayor Loses Primary,
Macey Holds Off District 9 Challenger

May 20, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News, Politics & Elections

Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby was defeated for the Democratic nomination for a second term in office, but Allegheny County Councilman Bob Macey held off his primary challenger.

Winners of primaries in each party will face one another in the general election Nov. 2.

Duquesne Mayor

According to complete but unofficial returns from the Allegheny County Elections Division, Nesby, the first Black woman elected mayor of Duquesne, was defeated in the Democratic Primary by City Councilman R. Scott Adams by a sizable margin.

 
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County Council District 9: Steven Singer

April 28, 2021 |

By Siana Emery | Posted in: Politics & Elections

(Submitted photo courtesy Steven Singer)


See also: Incumbent says his policies better reflect his Mon Valley constituents


Steven Singer, challenger to the incumbent for the Democratic nomination in District 9 of Allegheny County Council, is determined to make the voice of the Mon Valley heard.

“The Mon Valley is kind of forgotten by the rest of the county. But this corner of the county — we’re here, and we deserve the same resources and amenities as the rest of the county. I want to stand up and make sure we’re heard,” Singer said. “The steel mills may have closed, but we’re still here.”

Singer is “Allegheny County born and bred,” having lived in White Oak his entire life. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Singer worked as a journalist at the McKeesport Daily News, as well as an educator in Baldwin and McKeesport, before settling at the Steel Valley School District as a middle school teacher.

“Mon Valley is my community,” said Singer. “I want to serve this community because this is my neighborhood. This is the place I grew up. My family lives here, I care about the people here.”

 
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County Council District 9: Bob Macey

April 28, 2021 |

By Siana Emery | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Editor’s Note: Tube City Almanac contributor Siana Emery called Bob Macey on his home phone, cell phone and office phone, asking for an interview. She also sent email to Macey’s office.

Macey did not respond to those requests.

(Allegheny County photo)


See Also: Challenger says Mon Valley communities deserve ‘a fair shake, a new deal’


For the first time since 2013, Allegheny County Councilor Bob Macey has an opponent in the Democratic Primary in the race for the District 9 seat.

Macey, who resides in West Mifflin, did not respond to requests from Tube City Almanac for comment. However, he told WESA-FM Radio that his policies are a better reflection of the Mon Valley community than those of his opponent, Steven Singer.

District 9 serves Dravosburg, Duquesne, Elizabeth, Forward, Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln, McKeesport, North Versailles Twp., Port Vue, South Versailles Twp., Versailles, West Mifflin and White Oak. Macey was appointed to the seat in 2006 and elected for a four-year term in 2009.

An article published by WESA on April 26 outlines some of Macey’s voting record for local issues. Throughout his three terms on county council, Macey has established himself as a politician who leans further right than many others in his party, while still supporting some progressive legislation.

 
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Nominating Petitions Available for May Primary

February 08, 2021 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Voters in local communities will be electing mayors, council members and school directors in 2021.

On Monday, the Allegheny County Elections Division announced that nominating petitions for the 2021 primary election are now available.

The first day to circulate nominating petitions is Feb. 16 and the last day to file nominating petitions is March 9.

Among those communities voting for mayors will be Duquesne and White Oak. Three McKeesport city council seats and four White Oak borough council seats are up for election, as are commissioners’ seats in Wards 2, 4 and 6 of North Versailles Twp.

 
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Court Fight Over, Brewster to Take Oath

January 12, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Linda Brewster and her husband, state Sen. Jim Brewster, at his 2017 swearing-in at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Brewster is scheduled to take the oath Wednesday morning after a federal judge dismissed a challenge filed by his opponent, Nicole Ziccarelli of Lower Burrell. (Courtesy office of state Sen. Jim Brewster)


State Sen. Jim Brewster will be sworn in for his third full term representing the 45th District on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m.

The decision by Pennsylvania Republicans to seat Brewster came Tuesday afternoon, after a federal judge in Pittsburgh dismissed a lawsuit filed by Brewster’s opponent that challenged the results of the Nov. 3 election.

Allegheny County Judge David Spurgeon of White Oak is scheduled to administer the oath to Brewster, Democrat from McKeesport.

“I just feel so relieved, for my family, my friends, my staff and for all of the people in the 45th District, no matter who they voted for,” Brewster said Tuesday night, as he worked through some 300 messages from well-wishers congratulating him on his victory, as well as from news reporters from around the United States asking for comment.

 
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Anger, Chaos as Senate Denies Oath to Brewster

January 05, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

(This story was written by Jason Togyer from press pool reporting by Elizabeth Hardison of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, with additional coverage from the official video feed of the Pennsylvania State Senate at pasen.gov.)


State Sen. Jim Brewster of McKeesport poses for a photo with state Sen. Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia before Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony. The Republican leadership is holding Brewster’s 45th District seat vacant after an election challenge by Nicole Ziccarelli of Lower Burrell. (Photo via Twitter @SenatorHughes)


Shouting broke out in the Pennsylvania senate on Tuesday after the Republican majority refused to swear-in state Sen. Jim Brewster of McKeesport for his third full term.

The dispute has turned a national political spotlight on the 45th Senatorial District, which includes the city, most of the Mon Valley, Monroeville, Plum and part of the Alle-Kiski Valley in Westmoreland County, and which is now without a state senator.

Republican senate leaders have not said when they expect to resolve the situation, but Democrats are vowing to fight to get Brewster sworn back into office.

Brewster has been certified by both state and county officials with winning re-election to the 45th District by fewer than 70 votes. During a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday afternoon, he stepped forward to take the oath of office along with nine other Democratic senators.

But state Sen. Jake Corman, Republican of Centre County, serving as president pro tempore, said the oath would not be administered unless Brewster left the rostrum.

 
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Republicans Will Delay Brewster Swearing-In

January 05, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania State Senate are planning not to administer the oath of office to McKeesport’s Jim Brewster on Tuesday when other members of the chamber take their seats.

On Monday night, top Pennsylvania Democrats called the decision “illegal and unlawful” and accused the Republican majority of trying to steal the election.

“This is right out of the Trump playbook,” said state Sen. Jay Costa Jr., Democrat of Forest Hills.

Brewster, who state and county officials have certified as the winner in the 45th Senatorial District by 69 votes, sounded weary on Monday night, but counseled patience.

“I want to make sure the (voters) understand that from my perspective, most elections are hard fought, no matter who wins or loses,” said Brewster, who has served 10 years in the senate after winning a special election for the seat in 2010.

 
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Ziccarelli Asks State Senate to Reject Brewster

January 02, 2021 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Republican Nicole Ziccarelli has asked leaders of the Pennsylvania State Senate not to seat Democrat Jim Brewster when the chamber convenes on Tuesday.

In a petition filed Friday night, Ziccarelli, of Lower Burrell, alleges that the decision of Allegheny County to count mail-in ballots that were signed, but not dated, constitutes acceptance of “illegal votes” and was “a blatantly political maneuver.”

Results accepted and certified by the Pennsylvania Department of State give Brewster, of McKeesport, a 69-vote lead in his re-election to a third full term to represent the 45th Senatorial District.

Ziccarelli has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh alleging that her rights to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution were violated because Allegheny County accepted signed but undated mail-in ballots, while neighboring Westmoreland County did not count similar votes.

 
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Republicans React to Victory Declaration in 45th

December 17, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Correction: This story was edited after publication. See editor’s note.

Pennsylvania Republicans reacted with disbelief after state Sen. Jay Costa declared victory Wednesday for state Sen. Jim Brewster in his re-election.

Brewster, a McKeesport Democrat running for his third full term in the 45th Senatorial District, currently leads Nicole Ziccarelli, Lower Burrell Republican, by approximately 70 votes.

State totals certified Wednesday put the margin at 69 votes, while county-level results posted online say 73 votes.

But more than 2,000 mail-in and absentee ballots in Allegheny County have been challenged by the Ziccarelli campaign in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. Although signed, those ballots lacked handwritten dates.

 
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