Government
5:03 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Democrats Hold Allegheny County Row Offices

Democrat Chelsa Wagner claimed victory in the County Controller race over Robert Howard with 61 percent of the vote. It was one of two Allegheny County Row office races that were contested.

Wagner said her new role brings the potential to make changes.

"I think that the power of this office [is] where you have access to the different departments through the audits that you're doing, through seeing every contract in county government. You really are perhaps in one of the best positions to help effectuate policy," Wagner said.

Wagner said problems facing the county are very real, but there are answers.

"From the office of the controller, and from the very beginning of this campaign, we talked about looking forward," Wagner said. "We talked about the fact that this office needs to be more than a bean counter, needs to be more than just pointing out the problems, but also helping to find solutions."

She hopes to facilitate more cooperation between the city and county, and said that perhaps coincidentally, the two will begin using the same financial management software on January 1, the first day of her term as controller.

County Treasurer John Weinstein retained his County Treasurer seat. The Democrat defeated Republican C. Edward Pfeifer by a 67-33 percent margin.

Weinstein said he based his campaign on the track record he has built during his 12 years in office, and the voters responded.

"I'm honored that the taxpayers of Allegheny County have re-elected me to another term. It's a real honor that I take very, very personally, and I'm humbled by it," said Weinstein.

Weinstein said he will continue to work to modernize the office, and he will be focused on dealing with the county reassessment. "I will be absolutely working with the county council and the new chief executive to make sure the tax payers have the absolute ability to file an appeal, have a hearing, before their bill reflects a new assessment," said Weinstein.

The only other county row office that was up for election this year was the District Attorney's office. Incumbent Stephen Zappala ran unopposed.