Brewster to be sworn in Wednesday |

Brewster to be sworn in Wednesday

Plans have been announced for the inauguration of state Sen. James Brewster, D-McKeesport, at the state capitol in Harrisburg.

State Senate Democratic Caucus officials said the McKeesport mayor will be sworn in to succeed Sen. Sean Logan as 45th District senator Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Ken Varhola, Logan’s chief of staff, said Brewster, 62, will receive the oath of office from McKeesport Magisterial District Judge Eugene F. Riazzi Jr. Brewster said he will retain Varhola and others on Logan’s staff.

Brewster will serve out the remaining two years of Logan’s third term.

Varhola said a luncheon will precede the ceremony, after which Brewster will join his colleagues in choosing an interim president pro tempore, and the Senate will honor retiring members.

Among those retiring is state Sen. J. Barry Stout, D-Somerset Township, who chose not to seek re-election.

His 46th District, which includes Elizabeth, West Elizabeth and Forward Township, was won earlier this month by state Rep. Timothy Solobay, D-Canonsburg, who will assume Stout’s seat in January.

Logan won his first term after defeating Brewster in the 2000 Democratic primary. Brewster claimed the seat in a Nov. 2 special election, easily defeating Republican Paul Olijar of Plum and Libertarian Leonard Young of Monroeville.

The 45th Senatorial District covers portions of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, particularly in the Turtle Creek, Mon-Yough and Alle-Kiski valleys. It includes the cities of McKeesport, Clairton, Duquesne, New Kensington, Arnold and Lower Burrell and such municipalities as Plum and Monroeville.

Logan resigned Aug. 24 to take a newly created position as vice president for community relations at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The Pittsburgh-based hospital network includes UPMC McKeesport, formerly included a Braddock hospital and now is constructing a new UPMC East in Monroeville.

Brewster has been mayor for the seven years and served on McKeesport City Council for 10 years prior to that.

He said he will endorse council president Regis McLaughlin to finish the last 13 months of his mayoral term.

Brewster, who also chairs the McKeesport Democratic Party committee, previously endorsed council vice president Michael Cherepko to seek the mayor’s office in next year’s election.

The outgoing mayor said he will retain both the party chairmanship and his role as chairman of the board of commissioners of McKeesport Housing Authority.

Brewster, who lives in the Christy Park section of the city with his wife Linda, served for 27 years at Mellon Bank where he rose to the post of vice president of operations.

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