Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pittsburgh Councilwoman Upset

Pittsburgh's City Council District 6, which includes the Hill District, the Bluff, downtown, an part of the North Side, will be getting another new representative. Four years ago Tonya Payne upset veteran Councilman Sala Udin in the Democratic Primary. Tuesday night, Robert Daniel Lavelle, a former aide to Udin, returned the favor and upset Payne. Lavelle, who is now chief of staff for State Representative Jake Wheatley, received 44.5% of the vote to 39% for Payne and 16.5% for Mark Brentley. Lavelle's boss Wheatley and Payne have been political foes and Lavelle claims it was Payne who brought up the the issue of divisions in the Hill District. Lavelle says he will bridge any gaps and will make the high uenmployment rate in District 6 a top priority. There was no Republican in the race and that means Lavelle is the likely winner in the November General Election.

In City Council District 2, Theresa Smith captured the Democratic nomination in an attempt to win a 4 year term. Smith won a special election February 3rd to fill out the last 9 months of the term of Dan Deasy who was elected to the Pennsylvania House in November. Smith received 56% of the vote, Georgia Blotzer got 33%, and Robert Frank 11%.
Smith says she's very fortunate and "blessed." Smith plans to focus her efforts to slow the high rate of home foreclosures in Sheraden and to make residents feel safe in their communities. There was no Republican on the ballot in District 2.

District 4 is getting a new council member. Incumbent Jim Motznik opted against a reelection bid and instead won the nomination for a district judge's seat.
Natalia Rudiak beat out 3 other candidates to win the Democratic nomination. Rudiak received 35.7% of the vote; Patrick Reilly pulled in 32.7%; Anthony Coghill 30.2%; and Richard Weaver, 1.5%.
Rudiak, a Carrick native, community organizer and consultant, says she wants to help rebuild the business areas in District 4 and wants to restore the public trust in city government. There was no Republican on the ballot in District 4.

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