Low voter turnout in primary elections
In what was considered an “off” election year with no state or federal races on the local primary ballots, voters, in most cases, avoided the polls during the May 21 election.
And it wasn’t just the voters who opted for apathy, as many races offered no opposition, such as for mayor in communities like Bridgeville and Green Tree, and with only write-in candidates spaces for mayor in Castle Shannon and Dormont.
In a race for Upper St. Clair School Board, voters had the option to select from only four candidates for four available positions.
In the race for mayor in the City of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto quickly overtook his major opposition, Jack Wagner. Current mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, decided against running for reelection.
In Bethel Park, Jack Allen beat opponent Dino Bello early on in the mayoral race.
One of the more hotly contended races was for two open judicial positions in Washington County in the Court of Common Pleas. Judicial candidates, as well as those running for local school boards, may cross file as Republican and Democrat. The only other candidates permitted to file in both parties are those seeking the office of District Magistrate.
In Washington County, Mike Lucas, first deputy assistant district attorney, and District Judge Valarie Costanzo, who once worked in the district attorney’s office, captured the number one and two spots on both the Republican and Democrat ballots, wiping out the need for a contested race in the Nov. 5 election. Eight candidates ran for the two open seats created with the early retirements of Paul Pozonsky and Janet Moschetta Bell.
Also in Washington County, Canonsburg Mayor Dave Rhome handily defeated his Democratic opponent Tracy Weishner. Anthony Ross was unopposed on the Republican side, setting up a race in the fall.
In Cecil Township, the two top vote getters for supervisor were Cindy Fisher leading opponent Frank Egizio on the Democratic ticket.
In a race for five of seven open seats on Peters Township Council, four candidates, all Republicans were unopposed, David Ball representing District A; James Berquist, from District D; Frank Arcuri of District C and Gary Stiegel Jr., at large. The only race, also all Republicans, pitted incumbent Monica Merrell representing District B, against newcomers Ted Taylor IV and Michelle Hvizdos. Merrell was the highest vote getter easily winning another term.
All results in all races are unofficial until verified by the elections offices in Washington and Allegheny counties.
The race for Peters Township School Board saw three of the four incumbents losing on the Republican ticket, with only incumbent Sue Smith capturing one of the four nominations on both tickets. Incumbent David Hvizdos lost on the Republican ballot, but was one of the top four vote getters on the Democratic ballot. Names that will not appear on the Nov. 5 board will be current board president Cindy Golembiewski and current board member Lori Cuvero.
Jamison Hardy filed only on the Republican side and won one of the top four votes. Newcomers who captured both tickets May 21 were Lisa Anderson and Rebecca Bowman, whose names will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Low voter turnout in primary elections
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