Macey in District 9: The county councilman is the Dems' best choice

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Democrats voting in the May 21 primary have an easy choice for nomination to Allegheny County Council in District 9. A serious incumbent, Bob Macey, is running against an unserious challenger, Arlene Jabbour. Both live in West Mifflin.

The Mon Valley district includes Dravosburg, Duquesne, Elizabeth Township, Forward, Glassport. North Versailles, Port Vue, South Versailles, West Mifflin, White Oak, Lincoln, McKeesport, Versailles and Liberty.

The Democratic nominee will face Republican Kenneth Peoples in the fall election campaign. Mr. Peoples is unopposed in the primary.

Ms. Jabbour, 62, served on West Mifflin council. Her husband is C.L. Jabbour, who once held the county council seat and resigned in 2006 to run for the state House but failed to win nomination. Mr. Macey was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Mr. Jabbour, then won election to a four-year term in 2009.

Although Ms. Jabbour was invited to meet with Post-Gazette editors to discuss her candidacy, she declined.

Mr. Macey, 64, has the edge in experience and the party leadership's backing. A former steelworker, he has lived the ups and downs of the Mon Valley. After U.S. Steel's Duquesne plant closed, he took courses at Community College of Allegheny County and Penn State University, earning an undergraduate degree in business management and becoming a licensed appraiser for an insurance adjuster.

Now he works for Century Heritage Federal Credit Union in West Mifflin. A volunteer firefighter, he serves as a commissioner of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and was a board member of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

Mr. Macey is not afraid to cast tough votes on council. He backed, for instance, the creation of the county drink tax because it supported public transit, which he rightly sees as a priority for the Mon Valley.

One note of controversy, however, overshadows his bid for renomination. He was arrested in December on a DUI charge, an incident for which he expresses remorse, and is now in a program for first-time offenders.

In the absence of a significant challenger, voters can take that as an aberration. The Post-Gazette endorses Councilman Bob Macey for the Democratic nomination.

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