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

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
May 20, 2021
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.

Out of 862 votes, Adams had 441, or 51.5 percent. City Councilman Timothy Caldwell was second, with 141 votes;  Nesby had 133 votes; City Councilwoman Elaine Washington had 121 votes; and Charles Morgan IV had 16 votes.

In a statement released on Facebook, Nesby said the result “wasn’t what she expected” and detailed the obstruction she said she has faced since taking office.

“We had 10 years of adverse audit reports that had never been addressed, two decades of nepotism,” she said. “In the real world this is called corruption. We had no structure whatsoever in the city, no policies, nothing.

“I came into office expecting to make a change in the community,” Nesby said. “The more I tried to move our city forward doing what is right by the people, the more I received backlash.”

Adams is the son of former Duquesne police Chief Richard “Lefty” Adams. A graduate of Bethany College in West Virginia, he served as a Duquesne police officer, lieutenant, assistant chief and chief, and now works in private security.

At a candidate forum last month streamed on Zoom, Adams said his goals as mayor would be “financial stability, safety, planning and affordability” and collecting delinquent taxes.

“I'm running for mayor because ... I think through my 30 years of working within the city, my contacts, I think that I can bring the leadership to move the city forward into financial stability,” Adams said.

If elected in November, Adams has pledged to work with residents, potential business owners and elected officials at the county and state level.  “I think that’ll show the people that we are ready to move forward,” he said. “Once we can show businesses that we’re taking care of what we need to take care of, I think they will get on board.”

No candidates filed to run for Duquesne mayor in the Republican primary. There were 4 write-in votes for mayor in the Democratic primary and 64 votes in the Republican primary.

Aaron R. Adams and Burt Comensky were the top two vote-getters in the Democratic primary for Duquesne city council, and there were 240 write-in votes, according to complete but unofficial returns. No candidates filed for the Republican nomination, but there were 70 write-ins.

Allegheny County Council District 9

In another hotly contested race, Allegheny County District 9 Councilman Bob Macey was successful in his bid for the Democratic nomination for a fourth full term in office.

Out of 9,910 votes cast, Macey of West Mifflin defeated Steven Singer, a teacher and public education advocate from White Oak, by 5,773 to 4,063. There were 74 write-in votes in the Democratic primary and 217 in the Republican primary.

District 9 includes Dravosburg, Duquesne, Elizabeth, Forward, Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln, McKeesport, North Versailles Twp., Port Vue, South Versailles Twp., Versailles, West Mifflin and White Oak. Macey was first appointed to the seat in 2006.

McKeesport Area School Board

In the race for four seats on McKeesport Area School Board, two incumbent school directors have apparently been defeated in their attempt to get onto the November ballot.

Latoya Wright was top vote-getter in the Democratic primary, with 1,301 votes, followed by Matthew Holtzman (1,212), Dan Goughnour (1,185) and incumbent school director David G. Donato (1,093).

Runners-up were David Seropian, incumbent school director Tom Filotei, Phil Williams, Tiffany Wampler, Nikita Crumb, Gilbert Darnell Smith and incumbent school director Jim Poston.

In the Republican primary, the top vote-getter was Donato, followed by Holtzman, Goughnour and Seropian.

Runners-up were Filotei, Poston and Williams.

Other Races

There were no contested primaries for school board members in East Allegheny School District or commissioners in North Versailles Twp.

All three Democratic candidates for McKeesport city council — incumbents Jill Brewster-Lape, Jim Barry and Brian Evans — won their nominations, according to complete but unofficial returns. No candidates filed to run in the Republican primary.

Jason Togyer is volunteer editor of Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at jtogyer@gmail.com. Freelance writer Nichole Faina contributed to this report. She may be reached at n.faina.writer@gmail.com.

Originally published May 20, 2021.

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