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Politics & Government
On Tuesday, May 16, local voters will be participating in a variety of primary elections, voting on races including Pittsburgh mayor, city council and school board, as well as for Allegheny County council and judges.The general election will occur on Tuesday, November 7.Follow 90.5 WESA's coverage below.

Allegheny County Council: Two Tight Races, Two Easy Victories

Allegheny County
Four races were contested in this year's Allegheny County Council race.

Two Allegheny County races were very tight on Tuesday night, while the other two were easy victories for incumbent candidates.

With just shy of 51 percent of the vote, Democrat Anita Prizio edged out incumbent Republican Ed Kress in District 3, which includes the communities north of Pittsburgh. Prizio, who is a small business owner in O'Hara, said she wants to focus her term on environmental issues like fracking and watersheds, and bring more transparency to council.

"I've attended the council meetings, and the legislation's either passed or referred to committee," Prizio said. "Debate should occur in front of public scrutiny."

Democrat Patrick Catena received nearly two thirds of the vote in his bid to represent District 4, which stretches from Avalon to Thornburg. The lifelong Carnegie resident and former borough council resident said he wants to amplify the work being done by all the communities in his district. 

Catena said he'll focus on business development, green infrastructure and transportation.

"The most important thing in government is running it like a business," Catena said. "Finding out a way to create jobs and to ... spend less."

Democrat Charles Martoni won the contest for District 8, a seat he's held for the past 17 years. He held the position over Republican Mike Dell, an accountant and member of Plum Borough Council.

Martoni said he'll focus his next term on improving the attitude of local leaders in western Pennsylvania, which he said is becoming negative.

"We have a lot of unbelievably good things here," Martoni said. "We've got to start thinking positive. What's good about western Pennsylvania? What's good about Allegheny County? Believe me, when you start thinking about what's good, yo'ure going to have a big list."

The race for District 1 between Republican incumbent Tom Baker and Democratic candidate Jack Betkowski was extremely close. At 11:30 pm, with 98 percent of precincts reporting, Baker had a 120-vote advantage.

County council members serve four-year terms. Candidates in districts 9 and 12 ran uncontested. 

This story was updated on 11/7/17 as election results were reported.