All Allegheny Voters May Cast Ballots By Mail

April 18, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

(Allegheny County illustration)

All Allegheny County voters will have the option of casting a ballot by mail in the June 2 primary election.

County officials on Friday announced that all registered voters will receive an application for a mail-in ballot, as well as a postage-paid envelope. Registered voters also may apply for a mail-in ballot online at, if they have not already requested an absentee ballot.

A spokeswoman said the county is having difficulty finding enough workers to staff polling stations because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Nesby, Other Mayors Seek More Pandemic Help

April 08, 2020 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Duquesne News, McKeesport and Region News, Politics & Elections

Duquesne’s Nickole Nesby and Braddock’s Chardae Jones joined more than 30 other mayors of cities and boroughs across Pennsylvania to ask the federal government to increase production of medical supplies and coordinate distribution to communities.

In a letter signed by 113 municipal leaders from across the United States and released Monday, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group called on the federal government to do a better job of coordinating response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s time for leaders in Washington to have our back,” said John Henry, mayor of West View, north of Pittsburgh. “The federal government must do its job coordinating national disaster response to get us the masks and ventilators we need to save lives. Every minute counts.”

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Kortz Announces Retirement from Legislature

January 21, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

State Rep. Bill Kortz speaks at a rally of Pennsylvania motorcyclists. The Dravosburg Democrat, an avid motorcycle rider, announced his retirement on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy state Rep. Bill Kortz.)

State Rep. Bill Kortz confirmed Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to the Pennsylvania General Assembly in November.

In announcing his retirement, the Dravosburg resident called his 14 years as a legislator “a tremendous honor and a privilege” but said it was time for him “to take care of my health and step aside for future leaders” of his Mon-Yough district.

A former steelworker at U.S. Steel’s Irvin Plant with 30 years of service, Kortz, 65, a Democrat, was first elected to the legislature in 2006 and represents the 38th District, which includes Dravosburg, West Mifflin, Glassport, Port Vue, Liberty, Pleasant Hills, South Park, Baldwin and Whitehall.

The legislature was in session on Tuesday and Kortz was not available for an interview.

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Public Asks County Council For
Action on Air, Water Quality

January 07, 2020 |

By Ann Belser | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, Politics & Elections

County Councilman John Palmiere, Democrat from Baldwin Twp., is sworn in by Allegheny County Common  Pleas Judge Dan Regan. Palmiere represents District 6, which also includes Clairton, Elizabeth Borough, Jefferson Hills and Pleasant Hills. Looking on is Common Pleas Judge Kathryn Hens-Greco. (Photo by Ann Belser/Print, special to Tube City Almanac)

If its first meeting was any indication, Allegheny County Council could be in for a contentious new year.

On Jan. 2, the night that all of the new and re-elected members of council were sworn in and Pat Catena of Carnegie was elected as the new council president, a dozen residents availed themselves of the public comment period to talk about the poor quality of the air and water in Allegheny County.

“Of all the issues that come before you, none is more serious than the toxic air that we breathe everyday,” John Detwiler of Squirrel Hill said. “Our county’s air is among the worst in the nation, it affects the health and the very lives of our friends and our neighbors, so all of us should care about our air.”

He called on the new council to reshape the Board of Health through its confirmation process to make the board more responsive to air quality issues.

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Brewster Kicks Off State Senate
Re-Election Campaign

December 07, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

State Sen. Jim Brewster speaks during a breakfast for veterans last month in White Oak. (Photo courtesy state Sen. Jim Brewster)

Saying “public service is about reaching out and meeting the needs of those you represent,” State Sen. Jim Brewster kicked off his re-election campaign Friday with a rally at the Monroeville municipal building.

Brewster, a Democrat from McKeesport, is seeking his third full term representing the 45th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

The former McKeesport mayor, who was first elected to the state senate in 2010 to replace former state Sen. Sean Logan, pledged to seek bipartisan solutions to problems in education, economic development, job creation and infrastructure upgrades.

“By working side-by-side, and with the goal of helping everyone, we can do more and that is why I am seeking another term in the state Senate,” Brewster said in prepared remarks delivered Friday. “The district has a large geographic footprint, the communities are diverse, and the people are strong, vibrant and energized, yet there are challenges to overcome.

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Westmoreland Attorney to Challenge
Brewster in 45th District

November 25, 2019 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

(Submitted photo courtesy of the candidate)

A Westmoreland County attorney has announced plans to challenge state Sen. Jim Brewster's bid for re-election in the 45th District.

But Nicole Ziccarelli of Lower Burrell is no stranger to the Mon-Yough area. A graduate of McKeesport Area High School, Ziccarelli grew up in White Oak and is a former member of the advisory board at Penn State Greater Allegheny campus.

She will seek the Republican nomination in the April 28 primary.

“I am running because the 45th District needs a fresh voice in the State Senate who is committed to solving problems and advocating for the needs of our community,” Ziccarelli said in a prepared statement. “From the Allie-Kiski Valley to the Mon Valley, we need a strong advocate to stand up for what’s most important — job creation, what’s best for kids and families, improved infrastructure and quality, affordable healthcare.”

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Last Call for Allegheny's Current Voting Machines

November 06, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Across the Mon-Yough area, few polling places reported any serious problems on Tuesday, during what is expected to be the last hurrah for Allegheny County's current voting machines.

About 29 percent of the county's registered voters cast ballots, according to the Elections Division.

Spokeswoman Amie Downs said problems at Allegheny County's more than 1,300 polling places were generally minor. Polling hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Locally, a polling place on Maplewood Street in McKeesport's 12th Ward reported opening late --- about 8:30 a.m. --- after the judge of elections had car trouble, Downs said. In West Mifflin, voters at Lebanon Presbyterian Church reported that the judge of elections did not arrive until 7:10 a.m. and voting did not begin until 7:20 a.m.

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New Faces Headed to White Oak Council

November 06, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Liberty Borough News, Politics & Elections, White Oak News

New faces are apparently headed to White Oak council after election returns show two incumbents trailing in their bids to retain their seats.

Six candidates --- three Republicans, three Democrats --- were running for three four-year terms on borough council.

According to complete but unofficial results from the Allegheny County Elections Division, incumbents Charles Davis and Lou Bender, both Republicans, were the top vote getters, followed by Democrat George Pambacas.

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Cherepko Wins Third Term;
Few Surprises in Local Races

November 06, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko is headed for a third term after winning Tuesday's election by a 2-1 margin.

According to complete but unofficial results from the Allegheny County Elections Division, Cherepko, a Democrat, defeated former city councilwoman Fawn Walker-Montgomery, running as an independent, 2,058 to 1,056 votes. There were 13 write-ins.

Across the region, there were few surprises on Tuesday, despite insurgent campaigns run, in some cases, by well-funded independents. Voters across Pennsylvania gave their overwhelming support to a proposed constitutional amendment dubbed "Marsy's Law," though it is unclear if their votes will be counted.

In McKeesport, Cherepko was running on his record as well as the strength of his "McKeesport Rising" program to address blight, infrastructure upgrades and crime. The former McKeesport Area teacher and McKeesport city council president had the endorsement of the Democratic Party as well as state Sen. Jim Brewster and state Rep. Austin Davis.

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Politicians Endorse 'Marsy's Law,' But
Some Worry it Goes Too Far

November 04, 2019 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Politics & Elections

Other stories:

County DA Race Adds Excitement to Municipal Elections

City Voters Choosing Mayor, School Board on Tuesday

One of the highest profile election initiatives in recent years is an effort to add a "victims' rights" amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution.

On Tuesday, voters statewide will be asked to consider a proposed "Crime Victims' Rights" amendment.

The ballot initiative has been dubbed "Marsy's Law" and is part of a nationwide campaign being supported by a California billionaire philanthropist.

Supporters say "Marsy's Law" ensures that crime victims understand their rights and have a voice when someone who committed a crime against them is eligible for parole or pardon.

But opponents have called the proposed constitutional amendment "unnecessary" and some argue it undermines the American justice system.

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