Democratic incumbent, GOP newcomers win Allegheny County Council nominations

A Democratic incumbent won his party's nomination for Allegheny County Council, while Republican voters chose new faces in two other primary races for council.

In a fourth council race, GOP voters chose a candidate who has served twice on council without being elected.

Democratic incumbent Bob Macey won his contest for the District 9 nomination in the Mon Valley. He defeated Arlene Jabbour, the wife of the man who once held the council seat.

Both Mr. Macey, 64, and Mrs. Jabbour, 62, live in West Mifflin.

Republican incumbent Matt Drozd, seeking nomination to a third term on council, lost to challenger Tom Baker in a race to represent District 1. Mr. Baker, 33, is a member of the North Hills School Board, and Mr. Drozd, 68, is a former member of the same board. Both live in Ross.

Republican incumbent Krista Harris, 28, lost her bid to hold onto her South Hills District 5 seat on council. Sue Means, 61, won the GOP nomination for the post. No Democratic candidate was on the primary ballot.

In her campaign, Ms. Means emphasized her deep local roots and her strong conservative credentials. Ms. Harris had been appointed earlier this year to fill the council seat of departing Republican Vince Gastgeb, who took a job with the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

Lawyer Ed Kress, 41, defeated businessman Mike McMullen, 42, in the race for the GOP nomination for council's District 3 seat. The district includes 11 communities in the North Hills and the Allegheny Valley.

Mr. Kress already has served twice on county council. In both cases he was appointed by the county legislature's GOP caucus to replace members who resigned, but he later lost either primary or general election races to hold onto the seat.

Mr. Macey will face Republican Kenneth Peoples in the November general election. Mr. Peoples was unopposed in his primary run for the District 9 seat.

Ms. Jabbour has served on West Mifflin council. Her husband, C.L. Jabbour, once held the county council seat and resigned in 2006 in an unsuccessful run for the state House.

Mr. Macey was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Mr. Jabbour, then won election to a four-year term in 2009.

A former steelworker at U.S. Steel's Duquesne plant until it closed, he earned an undergraduate degree in business management and became a licensed appraiser for an insurance firm.

He works for Century Heritage Federal Credit Union in West Mifflin as director of business development and community relations.

District 9 includes Dravosburg, Duquesne, Elizabeth Township, Forward, Glassport. North Versailles, Port Vue, South Versailles, West Mifflin, White Oak, Lincoln, McKeesport, Versailles and Liberty.

Mr. Baker on Tuesday pledged to pay special attention to the county's relationship with the Port Authority and to explore ways to reduce red ink at the agency that provides bus and light-rail service across the county.

Mr. Baker is chief community affairs officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. In addition, he is president of Baker Leadership and the author of three books for young adults interested in community service.

Mr. Baker will face Democrat Daniel A. McClain, who was unopposed in his party's primary.

District 1 covers Aleppo, Ben Avon, Ben Avon Heights, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Findlay, Glen Osborne, Glenfield, Haysville, Kilbuck, Moon, North Fayette, Ross and West View.

Ms. Means credited her volunteers with bringing her victory in District 5. "I had incredible grass-roots support," she said Tuesday night.

Ms. Means, who lives in Bethel Park, is the mother of five. She has been an active member of the county's Republican committee. A West Virginia University graduate, she worked as a nurse.

District 5 includes Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park and Bridgeville.

District 3's Mr. Kress pointed to his ability to work across the aisle. Following his second appointment to council in April 2011, Mr. Kress introduced more bills than any other member and saw five of his proposals approved.

He is a lifelong resident of Shaler and a graduate of Shaler Area High School. He earned his undergraduate degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Duquesne University. In his general law practice he concentrates on estate and trust work, elder law and real estate.

Mr. Kress will face Democrat Mary E. Gibson, 29, a lawyer who lives in Indiana Township. She was the only Democrat seeking the District 3 nomination.

District 3 includes Aspinwall, Etna, Fox Chapel, Hampton, Indiana Township, Millvale, O'Hara, Reserve, Shaler, Sharpsburg and West Deer.

A county council seat is part time with an annual salary of $9,000.

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Len Barcousky: or 724-772-0184. Andrew McGill contributed to this report. First Published May 22, 2013 5:00 AM


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