2019 Election

Lucy Perkins / 90.5 WESA

Democrat Stephen Zappala won Tuesday’s election for Allegheny County District Attorney thanks to a strong showing in the suburbs. But campaigners for independent challenger Lisa Middleman say they are redrawing the political map. 

Courtesy of Dr. Lawrence Drake II

 

On today's program: Tuesday’s election results are in; as school lunch debt grows, "lunch shaming" returns; a peek inside a hemp processing facility as Pennsylvania’s industrial hemp growing season comes to a close; a Pittsburgh author finds brotherhood with other grieving black fathers; and new research asks if doctors receive gifts from opioid manufacturers, will they prescribe more? 

NewStart.Media / West Virginia University


On today's program: A new WVU program clams newspapers are in a buyer’s market; cybercrime is on the rise in Pittsburgh; a local artist fits his enormous murals into a new book; a state senator wants to strengthen PA’s campaign finance laws; and a preview of Tuesday’s biggest race. 

Chris Potter, 90.5 WESA-FM

Considering it’s wedged between the Parkway North and downtown Pittsburgh, Spring Hill Playground looks almost bucolic – at least at first. 

Gene J. Puskar / AP

On today's program: A new agency to support Tree of Life survivors opens its doors; a legal battle ensues (again) over prayer during House sessions; Pennsylvania's ethane is being used overseas; immunization exemptions could change after a measles outbreak; and it's your last chance to register to vote ahead of November's election. 

PITTSBURGH PARKS CONSERVANCY

Members of Pittsburgh City Council met Wednesday to discuss a ballot measure that would raise $10 million a year for the city’s 165 parks. 

Provided by the Quincy Kofi Swatson Campaign

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Joseph James removed one independent City Council candidate from the ballot this week, and he let a handful of others stay. But more upheaval may be in store for an already chaotic off-year municipal election. 

ROSS MANTLE / BUZZFEED NEWS

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office reportedly pursues more insurance fraud cases than any other agency in the state. An investigation by BuzzFeed News found that the office gets evidence and money from insurance companies to handle claims filed by customers.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Three candidates seeking to challenge Pittsburgh City Councilor Ricky Burgess in District 9 this November are arguing over who gets to call themselves an independent. 

Courtesy of the Friends of Lisa Middleman

Lisa Middleman launched her independent campaign for Allegheny County District Attorney pledging to reform a justice system that incarcerates people of color at disproportionate rates.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Voters in the city of Pittsburgh may face a surprisingly crowded ballot – for a November off-year election, at least – when they head to the polls this fall. 

Courtesy of the Friends of Lisa Middleman

Public defender Lisa Middleman, of Franklin Park, will formally launch her campaign for Allegheny County District Attorney Thursday. Her official campaign kickoff will be marked with a gathering at Mr. Small’s Theater in Millvale.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Just months after being appointed to county council in District 8, Paul Zavarella will have to fight to hold the seat, which was once held by the late Charles Martoni. Democratic committee members from the district will gather next month to select a nominee in a special election this fall, and Zavarella faces two familiar rivals.

Rachel Gobep / 90.5 WESA

On today’s program: How to prevent infectious diseases; a breakdown of yesterday’s primary election results; Mayor Bill Peduto on cybersecurity, postponing gun control ordinances and legalizing recreational marijuana; and an old amusement park near Lake Erie searches for its place in the 21st Century.

Gerry Bloome / AP

On today’s program: A look at Pittsburgh’s primary elections; scientists seek a cure for a disease endangering Pennsylvania’s bat populations; online privacy on display through the Carnegie libraries; and the controversies and constitutionality of facial recognition technology.

Matt Rourke / AP

Residents in the airport area and South Hills will vote in a special election Tuesday, choosing a state Senator in the 37th district to replace Guy Reschenthaler, who went to Congress earlier this year. The winner will represent them through the end of 2020 -- and the race itself may shape many other election contests that year.

Courtesy of Allegheny County

Governor Tom Wolf has nominated Allegheny County's Chief Public Defender, Elliot Howsie, for an appointment to the Common Pleas Court, according to a statement from Howsie’s judicial campaign.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

It’s no surprise that Pittsburgh City Councilor Darlene Harris is ignoring a city ordinance that requires political candidates to disclose their campaign finances each month. After all, she ignored the same requirement back in 2017, when she ran unsuccessfully for mayor.

Megan Harris / WESA

Activist Leon Ford has suspended his campaign for Pittsburgh City Council.

In an email to campaign supporters Tuesday, Ford said, “My other commitments have become too great for me to be able to fulfill the requirements of this position. I feel it is best for me to make room for someone who has the true ability to devote to this honor.”

Courtesy of Judith Ginyard, Kierran Young, and Cherylie Fuller

Three new candidates have entered an already-crowded race to replace Pittsburgh City Councilor Ricky Burgess. If the field holds, Burgess could face five challengers on the Democratic primary ballot in the 9th District this spring.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

More than 40 candidates for county and local office are seeking the endorsement of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee in advance of this year’s spring primary. And while the list contains few surprises, it does feature a handful of names of potential contenders who have not openly declared their candidacies.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

There are now two declared candidates in the race to represent Pittsburgh’s 9th city council district in the East End. Former Pittsburgh Public school board member Randall Taylor announced this week that he’ll run for the Democratic nomination in the May 21 primary. He joins activist and police shooting survivor Leon Ford in seeking the party's nod.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County's top public defender announced Friday he's running for judge. Elliot Howsie said he will compete for a seat on the county’s Court of Common Pleas in this year’s election.

At a campaign kickoff at the Allegheny County Courthouse, the attorney touted his experience both as a prosecutor and in criminal defense. A former assistant district attorney, Howsie became the first African-American to serve as chief public defender in Allegheny County in 2012.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

On the sixth anniversary of the police shooting that left him paralyzed from the chest down, Leon Ford, 25, formally launched his campaign for Pittsburgh City Council.

Courtesy of Friends of Turahn Jenkins

Former public defender Turahn Jenkins of Churchill will run against Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala in 2019, when the 20-year Democratic incumbent is up for reelection.

 

A Democrat, Jenkins announced his candidacy to scores of people who filled a rainy Freedom Corner in the Hill District early Monday evening.