Election 2013: Martoni elected again for Allegheny County council

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Longtime Allegheny County Councilman Charles Martoni will represent District 8 for another term.

Mr. Martoni, a Democrat, defeated Republican Dave Majernik in the tough race for the eastern suburban seat. The district, shaped like a fat letter "J," extends from Edgewood and Swissvale to Monroeville and Plum.

The unofficial vote totals were 7,993 for Mr. Martoni to 6,846 for Mr. Majernik.

Mr. Martoni has served on council since 2000, the year the commissioner form of government was replaced by a full-time elected executive and 15-member council.

Mr. Martoni said his major goal would be to restore people's faith in government.

"There are no devils in politics," he said on Wednesday. "People on both sides can have really good ideas.''

He will have three new GOP colleagues when council reorganizes in January: Tom Baker of Ross, Ed Kress of Shaler and Sue Means of Bethel Park. Mr. Kress had served briefly on council as an appointed member, but on Tuesday he won his own four-year term.

Mr. Martoni said he takes pride in "keeping the peace on council."

"I just try to work with everybody, and make sure that everybody gets a chance to be heard at meetings," he said.

He also said he would not seek another term as council president, a move that would allow him more freedom to express his own opinions on county issues. He has served as president since 2012.

He said there is no single issue he plans to tackle.

Mr. Majernik's name was on the ballot twice on Tuesday, and he also lost a race for mayor of Plum. Democratic incumbent Richard Hrivnak, who has served in that job since 2006, was re-elected to the post.

Republicans picked up one seat on the 15-member county council as a result of Tuesday's voting. Starting in January, council will have 10 Democrats and five Republicans.

Mr. Martoni, 77, is a former mayor of Swissvale, where he lives with his wife, Marianne. He has a full-time job as president of the Boyce campus of Community College of Allegheny County.

A graduate of CCAC, he also earned degrees at Duquesne University and California University of Pennsylvania and has a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. He has served in public office for more than 40 years. He has been a school board member, borough councilman and mayor, in addition to serving on county council.

Mr. Majernik, 67, is a retired software engineer. He and his wife, Susan, have lived in Plum for 20 years.

Part-time council members receive $9,000 annually in salary.

Len Barcousky: lbarcousky@post-gazette.com or 724-772-0184.

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