The Faces of 90.5 WESA
Wed November 9, 2011
Election Night Wrap Up
Democrats will hold onto the Allegheny County Executive's office. Former County Council President Rich Fitzgerald cruised to a victory over Republican D. Raja, a Mt. Lebanon businessman by 62% to 37%. Democrats enjoy a 2 to 1 voter registration edge in the county.
"We're going to do things with transit," Fitzgerald told supporters at the IBEW Hall on the city's South Side. "We're going to do things with our airport, we're going to do things with human services."
Fitzgerald will succeed Dan Onorato who decided not to seek a third term as chief executive.
There were 2 contested county row office races. State Representative Chelsa Wagner will be changing jobs. Wagner defeated Republican Robert Howard 62.5% to 37.4% for county controller. Incumbent Mark Patrick Flaherty did not seek reelection. Rather he was defeated in the May Democratic Primary for county executive by Fitzgerald. Treasurer John Weinstein has been elected to a fourth term—defeating Republican challenger Edward Pfeifer 67.9% to 32%. Meantime, District Attorney Stephen Zappala was unopposed for a fourth full four year term.
In other county races, Democrat John DeFazio, an original council member since 2000, won another term as an at-large councilman. The other at-large seat goes to Republican Heather Heidelbaugh. In district 2, Republican Jan Rea, another original council member, won another 4 year term. No Democrat filed in that race. Republican Vince Gastgeb was unopposed for reelection in district 5. John Palmiere, who was named in January to replace Joan Cleary who resigned, was unopposed for a full four-year term to represent district 6. Democratic incumbent Nicholas Futules had the only contested race for county council—defeating Republican MIchael Dell 56.5% to 43.4%. Barbara Daly Danko, who was appointed earlier this year to replace Rich Fitzgerald, was unopposed for a full 4 year term in district 11. Democrat Amanda Green Hawkins was unopposed for another term representing council district 13.
Two open seats on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas were claimed by Mike Marmo and Alexander Bicket.
Only one Pittsburgh Council seat was contested. Democrat Corey O'Connor, son of the late Mayor Bob O'Connor, won his father's old council district 5 seat—defeating Republican Josh Wander by a nearly 4 to 1 margin. Elsewhere on city council, incumbents Darlene Harris, Bruce Kraus, Patrick Dowd and Burgess were unopposed for reelection.
City Controller Michael Lamb was also unopposed for a third full 4 year term in that post.
There were 3 contest races for the Pittsburgh Board of Education and one of the incumbents was defeated. In district 2, Regina Holley defeated incumbent Dara Ware Allen by a 3 to 1 margin. Bill Isler was unopposed for another term on the board representing district 4. Board President Sherry Hazuda defeated Lisa Jones by a margin of 63.5% to 36.4% in district 6. Incumbent Mark Brentley won a fourth 4 year term by beating independent Rosemary Moriarty 60% to 40%.
Voters in Pittsburgh decided to raise the taxes of property owners. On the only ballot question in the city, voters approved a point 25 mill real estate tax hike by a margin of 72% to 28%. Revenues from the tax increase will go to support the Carnegie Library system.
One other ballot question of note—in Peters Township, Washington County, voters by a margin of 82% to 18% rejected an amendment to that municipality's home rule charter to include a community bill of rights that includes water, sustainable energy and local governance that would have virtually allowed a local ban on natural gas drilling. Supporters of the bill of rights gathered 2,422 signatures to get the referendum on the ballot but it received just 1,105 "yes" votes in Tuesday's election.
Two hours after the polls closed, Democrat Rich Fitzgerald claimed victory as Allegheny County's next chief executive. A short time earlier, Republican D. Raja contacted Fitzgerald to concede the race. With 92.6% of the precincts counted countywide, Fitzgerald held a 62.2% to 37% lead over Raja. Fitzgerald, the former president of County Council, will succeed Dan Onorato as county executive in January.
It will be Rich Fitzgerald succeeding fellow Democrat Dan Onorato as Chief Executive of Allegheny County. With 87.5% of all precincts reporting, Fitzgerald has a 62.5% to 36.7% margin over Republican D. Raja.
In county row office contests, Chelsa Wagner has won the controller's office; John Weinstein has won a 4th term as treasurer. One ballot question in the city of Pittsburgh…..and voters have decided property owners should pay more taxes. By a 72% to 28% margin, voters approved a point 25 mill increase in property taxes with the revenues to support the Carnegie Library system.
A little more than an hour after the polls closed, the Associated Press declared Democrat Rich Fitzgerald as the winner for Allegheny County Executive. With nearly two thirds of the precincts counted across the county, Fitzgerald has a 64% to 35% lead over Republican D. Raja.
Democrat Chelsa Wagner leads Robert Howard 65% to 35% for County Controller; incumbent Treasurer John Weinstein leads Republican Edward Pfeifer 70% to 30%. In County Council District 7, Democratic incumbent Nicholas Futules leads Republican Michael Dell 59.7% to 40.2%.
Just one Pittsburgh Council seat is up for grabs and Corey O'Connor, the son of the late Mayor Bob O'Connor, is winning his father's old seat in District 5. With 75% of precincts reporting, Corey O'Connor leads Republican 78.6% to 20.8%.
Incumbent Pittsburgh School Board member Dara Ware Allen has lost her reelection bid. With 83% of the precincts reporting, Regina Holley has a 76% to 24% lead. Mark Brentley has won reelection to the school board defeating independent Rosemary Moriarty 60% to 40%. In district 6 incumbent Sherry Hazuda, the school board president, has won reelection over Lisa Jones by a margin of 62% to 38% with all but 2 precincts counted.
The numbers are rolling in from the Allegheny County Elections Department. With 25% of precincts reporting countywide, Democrat Rich Fitzgerald leads Republican D. Raja 66.9% to 32.1% for County Executive. In county row office contests, Democrat Chelsa Wagner leads Robert Howard 69% to 31% for County Controller; incumbent Treasurer John Weinstein leads Republican Edward Pfeifer 73% to 27%.
In the only County Council contested race, Democratic incumbent Nicholas Futules is ahead of Republican Michael Dell 59% to 41%.
There's one contested race for Pittsburgh City Council. That's in District 5 where with 27% of precincts counted, Democrat Corey O'Connor leads Republican Josh Wander 80% to 20%.
Incumbent Pittsburgh School Board member Dara Ware Allen trails Regina Holley 75.2% to 24.5% with more than half of the precincts reporting. Board President Sherry Hazuda leads Lisa Jones 63.5% to to 36.4%, and incumbent Mark Brentley has a 57% to 42% edge over independent Rosemary Moriarty with 27% of precincts reporting.
Pittsburgh voters are deciding to give homeowners a tax increase. By a nearly 3 to 1 margin voters in the city are supporting a point 25 mill increase in property taxes to support the Carnegie Library system.
38 minutes after the polls closed, the Allegheny County Elections Department released the first vote count in today's general election. With just 14 of 1,319 precincts reporting, In the race for County Executive, Democrat Rich Fitzgerald leads Republican D. Raja 843 votes to 233. For County Controller, Democrat Chelsa Wagner has 866 votes to Republican Robert Howard's 195.
Incumbent Pittsburgh School Board member Dara Ware Allen trails challenger Regina Holley 765 votes to 88.
The polls are closed in Pennsylvania and we expect to start seeing some numbers very soon. Essential Public Radio will be keeping a close eye on several races in Allegheny County. Chief among them is the race for the County Executive's office.
Republican D. Raja is running an uphill battle against Democrat Rich Fitzgerald. Voter registration in Allegheny County favors Democrats two to one. The campaign has been hard fought with negative ads being launched by both camps. Perhaps the biggest difference between the candidates is their view on the drink tax which helps fund mass transit. Fitzgerald says it needs to remain in place to make sure that the county can pull down as much state money as possible. D. Raja says that he would eliminate the tax and find the funds through costs savings.
Several county row offices are up for election, but only two are contested. Incumbent John Weinstein is running as a Democrat for Allegheny County Treasurer. He faces Republican C. Edward Pfeifer. This is the first time Weinstein has had a challenger since taking the office in 1999.
Weinstein believes he has modernized the Treasurer's office by prioritizing customer service and implementing paperless billing, among other initiatives. Pfeifer is a former chemical engineer, and later treasurer at Alcoa. He said that the official responsible for executing budget reforms countywide should first get his own house in order. At 80 employees, Pfeifer said the Treasurer's office is overstaffed.
There is no incumbent in the race for County Controller. That race pits Republican Robert Howard against Democrat Chelsa Wagner. Wagner, a member of the State House, comes from a family of politicians, while Howard touts his 34 years as an accountant and controller at PPG Industries, and his accounting degree from Penn State.
In the city of Pittsburgh, three school board races are contested. District 2 features Dara Ware Allen running as the incumbent against Democrat Regina Holley. District 6 has Democrat Sherry Hazuda defending her seat against Republican Lisa Jones. In District 8, Mark Brentley is the incumbent, having won both the Republican and Democrat nominations, with Rosemary Moriarty running against him as an Independent.
There is only one contested election for Pittsburgh City Council, and one for Allegheny County Council. Corey O'Connor, the son of later Mayor Bob O'Connor, is looking to fill the district 5 seat that his father once held on City Council. He is running as a Democrat against Republican Josh Wander. On County Council, Democrat Nicholas Futules is facing Republican Michael Dell. Futules is the incumbent in that race.