A guide to Tuesday's local and state elections
This Tuesday, Nov. 7, there will be no classes before 5 p.m. to ensure every community member can exercise their right to vote. On the ballot, voters will find races for a number of city, county, and state positions. Here is what to know:
County Executive is the most powerful political position in Allegheny County government. They lead the administration, submit legislation to the county council, and appoint key officials. For the past 12 years, the Allegheny County Executive has been Rich Fitzgerald, a Democrat, who is finishing his maximum third term. The Democratic nominee is Sara Innamarto, a former state representative, and the Republican nominee is Joe Rockey, a former PNC executive. Rocky is pitching himself as a centrist, while Innamorato is running on a progressive campaign of “creating a county for all.”
The current Allegheny District Attorney, the county’s top prosecutor, is Stephen A. Zappala Jr., who has served six terms since taking office in 1998. Zappala is running against Democrat Matt Dugan, the county’s former chief public defender.
The county council contains 15 seats, nine of which are up for reelection. Two seats are reserved for representatives of Allegheny County as a whole, and the other seven are for specific districts in the county. There are only two candidates running for re-election in the two countywide seats. However, the individual districts do have some competitive races. In District 11 (Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, and Homestead), the candidates are Democrat Paul Klein, running for re-election; Republican Eileen Lo Cunningham, a retired software developer; and Robert McCune, an Independent.
Pittsburgh City Council
Two Pittsburgh City Council members are retiring and five of the nine seats are up for election. No Republicans won the May primary, so all the candidates are Democrats. However, in District 11 (Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, and Homestead) the seat is not up for election.
The county controller is in charge of auditing county offices and agencies. The current controller, Corey O’Connor, a Democrat and former Pittsburgh city council member, is running for reelection against Bob Howard, a Republican who used to work as an accountant for PPG.
This is the first time in 20 years the position is up for election, after the former treasurer John Weinstein unsuccessfully ran for county executive. The county treasurer’s role is to manage funding through investing, distributing, and controlling county funding, including tax revenue. The candidates are Erica Rocchi Brusselars, a Democrat, and Herb Ohliger, a Republican.
County Court of Common Pleas
The County Court of Common Pleas handles family, criminal, and civil court cases in Allegheny County. The candidates are Anthony DeLuca, a Republican assistant district attorney, criminal defense lawyer, and labor law attorney, and Democrat Patrick Sweeney, who worked in the county public defender’s office and was the bargaining unit secretary in the United Steelworkers Local 9002 Union.
Pennsylvania Supreme, Superior, and Commonwealth courts
The only statewide election on the ballot is for Supreme Court justice, where the future of Pennsylvania abortion rights will be decided. The Republican candidate, Carolyn Carluccio, has been endorsed by anti-abortion groups, while Daniel McCaffrey, a Democrat, has been a strong supporter of protecting abortion access. There are also two superior court positions, with two Republican and two Democrat candidates running, and one Commonwealth court position with a Democratic and a Republican candidate.