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Hallam prevails over Doven in Allegheny County Council at-large race; Klein, Walton win, too

After advocating to strengthen a police review board bill pending before Allegheny County Council, Democrat Bethany Hallam supported the measure in a committee vote Tues., April 20, 2021.
Jared Murphy
90.5 WESA
Incumbent Bethany Hallam won re-election on Tuesday night, defeating former Pittsburgh mayoral aide Joanna Doven. Incumbents Dewitt Walton and Paul Klein appeared to hold on to their District 10 and 11 seats respectively.

Incumbent Bethany Hallam won re-election on Tuesday night over former Pittsburgh mayoral aide Joanna Doven in the race for Allegheny County Council’s Democratic at-large seat.

As of shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday and with nearly all of the county’s precincts reporting, Hallam held about 56% of the vote to Doven’s 43%, according to unofficial results.

The race was contentious at times. Doven repeatedly criticized Hallam’s past experiences with opioid use disorder and incarceration, which Hallam often speaks about publicly.

Speaking outside the polls Tuesday afternoon, Hallam called Doven's attacks a "gift" and noted that "People are sick of the mudslinging."

She told WESA she felt confident that her support for progressive policies would carry her to victory.

"They are the things that people feel, the things people want to see: health care for all, housing for all, making sure that people are able to thrive, afford to stay in their homes, have clean air and water," she said. "These are things that everyone wants."

Incumbents appear to hold District 10 and 11 seats

Other incumbent county council members also seemingly cruised to re-election.

Democrat Paul Klein, who has represented District 11 on council since 2016, received more than 60% of the vote as of 11 p.m. on Tuesday. Challenger Dennis McDermott received 38%.

The race was slightly tighter in District 10. With three precincts outstanding as of midnight, incumbent DeWitt Walton led the three-way primary race with about 38% of the vote. Private chef Carlos Thomas garnered 33%, and mental health professional Eric Smith came in third with 28%.

With no official Republican candidates on the primary ballot, Klein and Walton are expected to win their seats in November.

Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at