Candidates file for office before Tuesday’s deadline

March 11, 2014
Jim McNutt/Observer-Reporter FILE - Rick Scruggs, left, and Ken Lowe, calibration technicians for Washington County, load a cart of voting machines onto a truck for delivery to the Fallowfield-Monongahela.

An incumbent state lawmaker who previously had no announced opponent now finds himself with competition in the November election.

State Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Elizabeth, has enlarged territory in Washington County due to legislative reapportionment, and with Somerset Township now part of the district, a Democratic challenger has emerged, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State candidate database.

Lisa Stout-Bashioum, daughter of former state Sen. J. Barry Stout and his wife, Lenore, was a member of Bentworth School Board from 2005 to 2009. She won election to a new term on the board in November after making an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for Washington County prothonotary in 2011.

Her candidacy was among the 20 or so hopefuls who are vying to represent parts or all of Washington County by filing before Tuesday’s deadline in Harrisburg.

Saccone’s opponent in past general election contests for state legislator was David Levdansky, who held the seat until the close of 2010. Both men are from the Elizabeth area in Allegheny County, and their races, which were very close, were decided in a count of absentee and military ballots from Washington countians.

In the 46th Legislative District, incumbent state Rep. Jesse White of Cecil Township has two Democratic opponents, Tom Casciola, a Cecil Township supervisor with whom White formerly served, and Paul J. Walsh, a Burgettstown attorney and borough councilman against whom White ran in 2006. Walsh also has been solicitor for school districts and sewer authorities.

The GOP contest has a new candidate with the filing of Brian E. Coppola of Bulger, former Robinson Township supervisor. He will square off against announced candidate Jason A. Ortitay of South Fayette Township, a cheesecake manufacturer.

State Rep. Brandon Neuman, a North Strabane resident, is seeking renomination to his 48th Legislative District seat, for which he is unopposed in the primary, while also seeking the Democratic lieutenant governor nomination. Alone on the Republican ticket in the 48th District is North Strabane Township Supervisor Sonia M. Stopperich.

In the 49th Legislative District, state Rep. Peter J. Daley of California has a primary opponent in Randy J. Barli of Coal Center. The winner of the Democratic contest will face Donald “Bud” Cook of West Pike Run Township, the founder of an e-marketing firm.

State Rep. John Maher, a Republican from Upper St. Clair who represents his home community and Bethel Park in Allegheny County and Peters Township in Washington County, appeared to have no opponent from either party. A Democrat who also appeared to have no opposition is state Rep. Pam Snyder of Morgan Township, who represents all of Greene County and slivers of Washington and Fayette counties.

In the 46th State Senatorial District, incumbent Sen. Tim Solobay of Canonsburg appeared to have no opponent in the primary. Filing as a Republican to face Solobay in the Nov. 4 general election was Camera C. Bartolotta of Carroll Township.

In the 9th Congressional District, which includes Mon Valley communities in both Greene and Washington counties and stretches to the Altoona area, incumbent Republican Bill Shuster has two opponents in the GOP primary, Travis G. Schooley of Quincy Township, Franklin County, a former municipal manager, and Arthur L. Halvorson of Harrison Township, Bedford County, a commercial real estate investor.

The lone Democrat filing for nomination in the 9th District was Alanna K. Hartzog of Fayetteville, Franklin County, co-director of the nonprofit Earth Rights Institute and author of the “The Earth Belongs to Everyone.”

In the 18th Congressional District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy of Upper St. Clair had no challenger in the Republican primary. Nor had any Democrat filed to oppose him the general election.

Any late updates to the list will be published Wednesday on and in Thursday’s Observer-Reporter.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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