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Incumbents face several political newcomers |

Incumbents face several political newcomers

Tawnya Panizzi
| Thursday, May 8, 2003 12:00 a.m

The primary election on May 20 could change the face of local politics in at least three Lower Valley communities.

Contested races in Etna, Indiana Township and Sharpsburg could lead to a new slate of candidates in November if political newcomers unseat incumbents in each town.

  • Etna constituents will see a race between three Democrats vying for two council nominations in the First Ward. Incumbent Tom Rengers will take on challengers Karen Tomaszewski and Crystal Bocka. There are no Republicans seeking the position. No candidates have filed for the Republican nomination.

  • Indiana Township residents who live in District Two will choose between three Republicans running for one nomination. Newcomers Robert Peterson and Charles Wolenter will try to unseat incumbent Jeff Peck. The winner of May’s primary will participate in what promises to be a hotly contested race with long-time Democratic Supervisor Dorothy Claus, who last year was moved from District One after nearly 20 years representing residents there. The move was required by law to equalize the population under each supervisor’s leadership.

  • Sharpsburg , a predominantly Democratic town, will see five candidates vying for three nominations. Incumbents Leo Rudzki, Sr., Martin Kozlowski, Jr., and Richard Panza will take on community activists Mario Ferraro and Larry Stelitano. There are no Republicans seeking council nominations.

    There is no race for local government in Aspinwall until November, when Democrat Barbara Stern will vie for one of three seats against Republicans James Donahoe, Patricia Klatt and Ed Sheerer.

    Barring a winning write-in campaign, political slates in Blawnox, O’Hara and Fox Chapel will remain the same. Blawnox incumbents — all Democrats — Dennis Chuvala, Clyde Glessner and Kim Hilwig will retain their positions; Fox Chapel incumbents, James Parker, Eric Marx and Lou Greulich — all Republicans — will also stay.

    O’Hara will see one familiar face returning. That is Republican Bob Smith who is seeking an at-large council seat. Barring a write-in campaign, Smith is assured to win the seat since it is uncontested. He will replace veteran politician Jim Zaenger, who is retiring from council. Smith will join incumbents Marshall Treblow and Joe Frauenholz, Jr., who are both unopposed.

    Four candidates are seeking the two nominations for Lower Valley District Justice. The term is for six years and pays $60,000. Current magistrate Elissa Lang is running against Sharpsburg Mayor Don Ferraro and O’Hara attorneys Bill Price and Susan Livingston for the office which presides over criminal and civil cases for six communities.

    Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, or via Twitter .

    Categories: News
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