Jones-Rolla selected to run for vacant PT Council seat
McMURRAY – Washington County Republicans met Wednesday to nominate a candidate for a vacant Peters Township Council seat.
Meghan Jones-Rolla was unanimously chosen by the 11-member executive committee to have her name placed on the ballot in November for the vacancy created by the unexpected July death of longtime Councilman Robert Atkison.
Jones-Rolla, 38, a practicing attorney and a former television reporter, ran unsuccessfully two years ago against Atkison and current Councilman Robert Lewis.
The Democratiic and Republican parties must choose candidates to be placed on the ballot because Atkison’s death occurred after the May primary, when candidates are nominated.
William Merrell, chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, said Jones-Rolla represents the younger professionals in the township, which Merrell feels are under-represented in local government.
Merrell is a member of the Peters Township School Board. His wife, Monica Merrell, is a member of township council representing District B. Atkison was an at-large council member, as is Lewis.
On Aug. 12, council voted to appoint with Michael McCaig to fill the vacancy until January.
McCaig served previously on council from 2008-09, but was defeated by current Councilman Gary Steigel Jr. for a full term.
Monica Merrell and Steigel voted against McCaig and nominated another candidate, Frank Kosir Jr. McCaig was sworn in by District Judge James Ellis on Monday, immediately before a public hearing.
Jones-Rolla did not apply to fill the vacancy.
While the Republican Party has selected Jones-Rolla for the Peters Council vacancy, the Washington County Democratic Party has not yet announced its selection.
Washington County Director of Elections Larry Spahr said the Democrats have requested information about filling the vacancy in Peters.
The Republican and Democratic parties also must choose candidates to run for vacant supervisor seats in North Franklin and South Franklin townships, and for council in West Brownsville Borough.
Both parties have until Sept. 16 to announce endorsed candidates.
Merrell asked that eligible Republicans interested in running for any of those vacant seatscontact the Republican party.