Washington County Republican Party picks O’Neal for state House seat |
Politics Election

Washington County Republican Party picks O’Neal for state House seat

Wesley Venteicher
Tim O'Neal
Tim O'Neal

The Washington County Republican Party on Saturday picked Tim O’Neal, an Army veteran and human resources director for a construction company, as its candidate for a special state House election in May.

O’Neal, 37, of South Strabane easily defeated competitors Jerad Cypher, a former president of East Washington Borough Council, and Joseph DeThomas, who works at Komatsu Mining, in a vote of 73 party committee members, county Republican Party spokesman Dave Ball said.

A May 15 special election is being held to replace Democrat Brandon Neuman, who left the District 48 seat at the end of last year after being elected as a Washington County judge. The district includes Washington, Canonsburg, Houston, Chartiers, North Franklin, North Strabane and South Strabane.

Clark Mitchell Jr., 31, a South Strabane attorney, won the Democratic Party’s nomination for the seat, the Observer-Reporter reported. The two candidates for the special election will appear on the same ballot as candidates in party primaries for statewide races.

O’Neal said he plans to harness the momentum that he said has been gathering in the Washington County Republican Party to flip the district from blue to red. He pointed out that 73 of 78 eligible committee members turned up for Saturday’s nominating meeting.

If elected, he said, he would prioritize revitalizing neighborhoods in the district that are blighted by condemned and abandoned buildings.

“We just need to ensure that our small business owners that are looking and interested in developing these things get connected with the resources that are already out there and ensure that government doesn’t get in the way of them doing it,” he said.

He said he also would advance state efforts to fight the opioid epidemic and work to bolster the region’s coal, oil and natural gas industries, adding that he has worked in the energy industry.

He said state government needs to ensure that the industries “aren’t over-regulated but at the same time stay safe, and just ensuring that we’re pro-business as opposed to anti-business, which policies are leaning towards lately.”

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.