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The effects of legislative redistricting will be apparent in the May 20 primary election, and especially for voters in Avalon and Bellevue.

The two communities have been absorbed into the 20th Legislative District, which encompasses West View, parts of Ross Township, Brighton Heights and other areas of the North Side, as well as Lawrenceville. With the changes, the 20th District becomes less a City of Pittsburgh district and more evenly divided between the city and its closest suburbs to the north.


Voters in four North Boroughs municipalities will get their first look at the impact of the legislative reapportionment plan when they go to the polls in May.

The redistricting occurs every 10 years, following the U.S, Census, and is designed, theoretically, to more evenly distribute population among the federal and state election districts. Arguments that the process has too much to do with political power-grabs have delayed implementation of the newest state plan, which faced court challenges that prevented it from going into effect during the state elections two years ago.


While Bellevue may have had the most contentious races in the 2013 general election, some of the most surprising results came in the neighboring boroughs of Emsworth and Ben Avon. All vote totals are unofficial until certified by the Allegheny County Elections Department.

Northgate School Board


Three Bellevue Council seats left undecided after the primary election will be filled by voters who go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

In the borough’s first ward, two seats are open, and only one incumbent is on the ballot.Current council member Kathy Coder is joined on the Republican ballot by Megan Swackhammer. The Democratic ticket features Henry Lenard and Mike Braunlich. In The third ward, incumbent Democrat Lynn Tennant Heffley is running against Republican Grant Saylor. first ward


A field of seven candidates -- four Republicans and three Democrats -- will provide voters with lots of choices to fill four vacant seats on Ben Avon Council.

Only two of the candidates -- Democrat Richard White and Republican Brian Tokar -- are incumbents.


Voters will choose from among five candidates to fill four seats on the borough council, and also will elect a new tax collector in next Tuesday’s general election.

Among the candidates are incumbents Paul Getz and Jason Helfrich, former council members Tom Maletick Jr.and Dan Lenz, and political newcomer Carolyn Galante.


Three Bellevue government veterans are hoping to be elected mayor of Bellevue in next week’s general election, but you’ll find only two names on the official ballot.

Although current Bellevue Council member Jane Braunlich lost the primary Democratic nomination to Paul Cusick, she is now running a write-in campaign that will pit her and Cusick against former council member Joe Scioscia Jr. on the Republican ticket.


In the only contested primary race outside of Bellevue, Democrats in Emsworth picked their candidate to run for tax collector in November.

Laura West won the nomination with 90 total votes. Opponent Louis Galante received 49 votes.

West will face Republican William Rumpf in November.


The 85 percent of registered voters who failed to vote in Bellevue’s primary election on Tuesday will have to live with the decisions made by a few that will have a dramatic impact on the borough’s government next year.


Two candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination for the office of real estate tax collector in Emsworth Borough. Voters will choose between Laura West and Louis Galante to face Republican William Rumpf in the November general election.


There will be a handful of primary election contests in the North Boroughs, where voting on May 21 will set the stage for additional decisions in the November general election.

The Allegheny County Elections Division earlier this week released the ballot for the primary election, in which Democrats and Republicans will choose who will represent their parties in November.

The major local decisions to be made in the primary are limited to elected offices in Bellevue, the race for tax collector in Emsworth, and the Northgate School Board.

Northgate School Board


While most of their constituents celebrated the first day of the new year, the newly elected and re-elected members of the state house and senate were sworn in during ceremonies held at the capitol in Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania’s constitution mandates that legislators take office on the first Tuesday of the year, whether or not it is a holiday. After several hard-fought local elections, however, it was a great way to start 2013.


With a few Republican exceptions, the North Boroughs area voting results were right in line with the results across the state of Pennsylvania. Local voters helped re-elect Barack Obama and Bob Casey Jr., put a Democrat into the state senate, and re-elect two state representatives -- one Democrat and one Republican.

Voter turnout averaged about 65 percent across the area, with the percentage nearing 80 in parts of Ohio Township, and dropping to a low of 58 percent in one Bellevue district.

The Democrats came out on top of two hotly contested local races.


With most races too close to call, voter turnout will be a major factor in deciding the races featured on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m. Anyone unsure of where to vote should visit the Allegheny County Web site, where they can get poll information for any street address.

The voter identification law will not be in effect for this election. Although voters will be asked for I.D., they will not be required to show it.


With less than two weeks until election day, voters in Pennsylvania's 16th Legislative District will have to set aside some time from the federal political onslaught to decide who they will send to the state House. In the district that includes only Bellevue of the North Boroughs municipalities, incumbent Democrat Robert Matzie is seeking re-election to a third term, challenged by Bellevue Council member Kathleen Coder, the Republican candidate.