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Politics & Government

Democrats Hold Onto Control of Allegheny County Council

The voters of Allegheny County are sending three new members to County Council, while four incumbents were able to hold onto their seats on Election Day, leaving the body with 10 Democrats and five Republicans.

Republican Tom Baker won the District 1 Council seat over Democrat Daniel A. McClain Jr. and Constitution Party candidate Jim Barr, taking 50 percent of the vote. Current District 1 Councilman Matt Drozd was defeated by Baker in a primary fight.

After giving his victory speech around 10 p.m., Baker said he was “elated” over the win.

“This campaign was a labor of love," he said. "We worked really hard for the year to make tonight possible. And we have an amazing team. We had just great support for our local elected officials.”

Baker said his door knocking campaign helped bring out supporters.

“I called as well probably about eight to nine hundred voters at home, just to talk to them about the concerns and issues that they had in the county and what they’d like to see me do,” Baker said.

McClain said he’s proud of his campaign.

“We ran an issue-based campaign, and we went out to the people of Allegheny County and talked about the issues,” said McClain. “We felt our message was right on track, I’m going to continue to fight for these issues as a leader of my district.”

Baker said he wants to work with council to address taxes, and business and youth retention in the county.

The District 3 seat was won by Republican Ed Kress. He defeated Indiana Township Democrat Mary E. Gibson, who once served on County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s courts administration vision team.

Kress declined to be interviewed, noting that with only 400 votes separating him and Gibson, he was not ready to claim victory.

Democratic Council President Charles Martoni beat out retired Republican software engineer Dave Majernik to hold on to his District 8 seat 54 to 45 percent.

Majernik was also running for Mayor of Plum, which he lost to incumbent Richard Hrivnak.

And in District 9, Democratic incumbent Bob Macey held on to his seat winning 65 percent of the vote. He was being challenged by White Oak EMT and real estate agent Kenneth Peoples.

Three Council seats went uncontested: District 4 where incumbent Democrat Michael J. Finnerty took about 98 percent of the vote; District 12 where Democratic incumbent Jim Ellenbogen won about 98 percent of the vote; and District 5 where Republican Sue Means won about 97 percent. Current District 5 Councilwoman Krista Harris lost to Means in the primary.