Campaign 2012/West: Veteran challenged by newcomer in 45th District

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Democrat Nick Kotik, in his 10th year representing the 45th Legislative District, describes himself as "a hands-on guy. I think I have the pulse of the local communities."

The communities in the district are Bridgeville, Carnegie, Coraopolis, Heidelberg, Kennedy and Pennsbury Village and parts of Collier, McKees Rocks, Robinson, Scott, South Fayette and Stowe.

His Republican challenger in the Nov. 6 election, Aaron Kime, did not respond to repeated requests for interviews. According to his Facebook page and website, Mr. Kime, of South Fayette, is a chiropractor who has served in the Army since 1991. He currently is a lieutenant in the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Mr. Kotik lives in Robinson and is a native of McKees Rocks, where he is involved in redevelopment efforts.

Marcellus Shale is an issue in the 45th District. Mr. Kotik voted against legislation concerning shale drilling because he said the fees on drillers were too low and local officials would not have maintained enough control.

Drilling has become a controversial issue in South Fayette, "where there are strict zoning ordinances. I have been supporting the right of local communities to enforce their local zoning," Mr. Kotik said.

"Basically, I am trying to continue to promote progress. Jobs are the big thing," he said.

In McKees Rocks, he is involved in efforts to redevelop 110 brownfield acres -- the former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad property, which he said is "coming along with state and federal money."

Mr. Kotik said he and his staff "have good working relationships" with constituents and local officials "when they need some help with bureaucracy in Harrisburg and Washington."

neigh_west - electionsmunicipal

Linda Wilson Fuoco: lfuoco@post-gazette.com or 412-722-0087.


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