Primary Preview

There will be a number of contested races that voters will have to decide in the May 16 primary election, and, as usual, there are sure to be write-in candidates popping up throughout the boroughs.

District Judge

Incumbent Tara Smith is seeking the nomination of both parties for re-election to a third term as the magisterial district judge for the North Boroughs. She is being challenged on both tickets by Don Presutti Jr., son of the longtime former magistrate.

Avonworth School Board

The Allegheny County elections department records indicate that there are four open seats on the school board, and five candidates who have cross-filed as both Democrats and Republicans. Three of those candidates are incumbents: Beau Blaser, Victoria Carlson and Patrick Stewart. Longtime incumbent Eric Templin is not seeking re-election. The two newcomers who are running are Sandra Bolain and Renae Daniels-Simmons.
Northgate School Board

There also are five candidates seeking nominations for four open board seats in the Northgate School District. All are cross-filed: Incumbents Jennifer McWilliams and Amy Joy Robinson, and newcomers John Gratner, Christine King and Ryan McElravy.


Bellevue has two contested races, for mayor and for two first ward council seats, all on the Democratic ticket. In the mayoral race, newcomer Emily Marburger is challenging incumbent Paul Cusick and council member Tom Fodi. Three people are seeking the party’s nomination for two council seats: former council member Jane Braunlich and newcomers Val Pennington and Jodi Hause.


Avalon does not have any contested races on the ballot, and, in fact, is notable for not having enough candidates on the ballot. Although Dave Haslett will appear on the Democratic ticket for mayor, he already has resigned that position to take a job as the borough’s public works supervisor. Look for write-in candidates to weigh in on that race.

Election records indicate there are five open seats on Avalon Council, but only four candidates, as incumbent Tom Lloyd did not run for re-election. All of the other candidates are incumbents: Bill Pascale, Lee Nelson, John Vetterly and Sean McWilliams.

Ben Avon

There are lots of Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for four four-year seats on the Ben Avon borough council. The candidates are: Megan Griffin Dolan, Henry Casale, Russell Kuehner, Richard White, David Stoekle Jr. and Jennifer Bett.


The final records from the elections department show a Democratic primary race for mayor in Emsworth. Newcomer Amy Sue Lillie is running against incumbent Dee Quinn.