Senate Race Tied as Count Continues

November 19, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

The race between state Sen. Jim Brewster and challenger Nicole Ziccarelli is now tied at 65,978 votes each.

As of Wednesday, Brewster, a McKeesport Democrat, had been leading Ziccarelli, Republican of Lower Burrell, by 28 votes. Brewster is seeking re-election to his third full term representing the 45th Senatorial District.

Westmoreland County on Thursday counted additional provisional and mail-in ballots that had been held for further review. The count added 141 votes for Brewster and 169 for Ziccarelli.

Another court hearing is scheduled on Friday before Westmoreland County Judge Harry Smail Jr. regarding the remaining provisional ballots that have not yet been counted.

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Pa. Supreme Court Asked for Ruling
on 45th District Senate Race

November 18, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

EDITED to clarify that the current totals do not reflect the disputed absentee ballots.

The future of Pennsylvania’s 45th Senatorial District is now in the hands of the state Supreme Court.

Republican Nicole Ziccarelli of Lower Burrell on Wednesday afternoon filed an emergency petition asking the state’s highest court to use its powers of “extraordinary relief” to rule that 2,349 of Allegheny County’s absentee ballots are invalid and cannot be counted.

State Sen. Jim Brewster, McKeesport Democrat, currently holds a 28-vote lead over his challenger, Ziccarelli. Brewster is seeking re-election to his third four-year term.

The Allegheny County Board of Elections voted 2-1 to accept the ballots, which were signed by voters but not dated. The ballots have not yet been counted.

On Wednesday morning, Allegheny County Judge Joseph M. James upheld the board’s decision.

“In light of the fact that there is no fraud, a technical omission on an envelope should not render a ballot invalid,” he wrote in his decision. “These ballots must be counted.”

Ziccarelli’s attorneys also are appealing James’s decision in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.

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Pisciottano, Davis Leading in Early Returns

November 05, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

State Rep. Austin Davis appears to be headed to his second full term in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, while Nick Pisciottano of West Mifflin is the favorite to replace retiring state Rep. Bill Kortz.

According to unofficial returns from the Allegheny County Elections Division, with all 84 precincts reporting, Davis, a Democrat from McKeesport, received 19,704 votes. Davis was facing a write-in campaign from Don Nevills of Clairton.

The county said 1,643 write-in votes were recorded. All of the numbers are still subject to change and have not yet been certified by county officials.

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Brewster Trailing Challenger in 45th District

November 05, 2020 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Politics & Elections

State Sen. Jim Brewster is one of several Democratic legislators in Pennsylvania who are trailing their challengers following Tuesday’s election.

With all precincts in both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties reporting Thursday night, Republican Nicole Ziccarelli was leading Brewster, the 45th Senatorial District incumbent, by about 1,500 votes, 63,058 to 61,515.

According to Allegheny County officials, more than 35,000 absentee ballots still need to be reviewed on Friday.

County spokeswoman Amie Downs said Thursday those ballots include approximately 29,000 that were incorrectly printed by a vendor, and had to be re-issued, as well as ballots that were damaged and could not be electronically scanned.

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OK, Voters: Time to Vote

November 02, 2020 |

By Bill Phillips | Posted in: Politics & Elections

(Prachatai illustration, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

OK, Tube City Online readers — as Jeff Probst from “Survivor” would say, “it is time to vote.”

All Allegheny County polling places are expected to be open on Tuesday. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. By law, anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

To find your polling place, visit this website and enter your address.

Poll workers will be provided masks, gloves, face shields and hand sanitizer. Additionally, there will be clear plastic shields at the sign-in tables. There will also be cleaning materials at the polling place, tape to mark off six-foot distances for voters waiting in line, and extra staff to help enforce the provisions.

Voters will be asked to wear a face covering in compliance with the state order. Those who arrive without a face covering will be offered one.

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38th Legislative District: Linda Book (Republican)

October 29, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Politics & Elections

• See Also: Nick Pisciottano wants to close loopholes, support police

When state Rep. Bill Kortz announced his retirement in January, Linda Book had to quickly make her decision whether to run for the 38th Legislative District seat.

“Sam DeMarco (chairman of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County) called me and asked me to run,” said Book, a member of Whitehall Borough council.

She also serves on the board of directors and the board of trustees of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and was out of town when DeMarco called, so she wasn’t able to get the petition signatures necessary in time to run in the Republican primary.

Instead, she earned the Republican nomination as a write-in candidate.

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38th Legislative District: Nick Pisciottano (Democrat)

October 29, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Politics & Elections

• See Also: Linda Book sees places to trim state budget

Nick Pisciottano, Democratic nominee in the 38th Legislative District, has family roots in Pittsburgh that date back to before the Civil War.

“I really care about the people in my area,” said Pisciottano. “I want them to know that I’m invested here. I’m here to stay. I want these people to be able to succeed. I want to see them get good jobs and support their families and send their kids to good schools.”

Pisciottano credits family members for his desire to work in public service.

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35th Legislative District: Austin Davis (Democrat)

October 29, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Politics & Elections

• See also: Don Nevills says ‘I wanted to step up (and) make a difference’

State Rep. Austin Davis has served the 35th District for the last two years and says he has much more that he’d like to get accomplished.

“I think we’ve done a lot in a short amount of time,” Davis said. “Most recently, I was involved in securing the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency tax credit that will finance an $18 million revitalization project in Clairton.”

“I initially decided to run for office two years ago because I grew up in the Mon Valley,” Davis said. “I went to McKeesport High School. I wanted to use my experience to help my community. I want to make the Mon Valley the best place that it can be. I want to find ways for disadvantaged children to have more opportunities.”

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35th Legislative District: Don Nevills (Write-In)

October 29, 2020 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Politics & Elections

• See also: Austin Davis says ‘I’ve proven I can deliver’

In the state House District 35 race, incumbent Austin Davis is facing off against write-in candidate and independent Don Nevills of Clairton.

Don Nevills is a 14-year Navy veteran and small business owner.

“I’m sick and tired of all the corruption and lies,” Nevills said. “I used to complain about it but now I wanted to step up and actually try to make a difference.”

Nevills is running as a write-in candidate because he joined the race after the primary. Nevills also considered a bid at a U.S. House of Representatives seat, but would have needed to get 5,000 signatures on petitions to be placed on the ballot as an independent.

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Local Groups Offer Rides to Polling Places

October 22, 2020 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, Politics & Elections

“#298” by Kelley Minars, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Take Action Mon Valley is one of several groups that is offering free transportation to polling places on Election Day.

A spokeswoman said the non-profit group will provide Allegheny County voters in McKeesport, Duquesne, Clairton, Braddock, Rankin, West Mifflin and nearby communities with free rides via Lyft, Uber or in a volunteer’s vehicle.

That includes transportation Sunday (Oct. 25) to the county’s satellite polling place at CCAC South Campus in West Mifflin, where absentee and vote-by-mail ballots may be deposited in person, or to the polls on Nov. 3.

To request a ride in from TAMV, call or text (412) 440-8268.

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