VanKirk replaces Raja as Mt. Lebanon commissioner

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Bonnie VanKirk was appointed Monday night to fill a vacant Mt. Lebanon commissioner's seat.

The commission voted 3-0 to appoint Ms. VanKirk to the seat, representing Ward 1, vacated by D. Raja. He resigned to devote his efforts to campaigning for Allegheny County chief executive.

Commissioner Joe DeIuliis and Ms. VanKirk did not attend the meeting. She was on a previously scheduled trip, but was interviewed by the commission over speakerphone.

The commission also interviewed Frank Horrigan and T. Michael Brown.

John Bendel also was to be interviewed, but withdrew his name from consideration in his opening statement. He and Mr. Brown are running for the Ward 1 seat in the fall general election. Mr. Bendel said he had only signed up in case no one other than Mr. Brown applied for the position.

The commission members agreed that they would limit their decision to the two candidates not running for the seat in the fall.

The commissioners settled on Ms. VanKirk for, among other qualifications, her past involvement in Mt. Lebanon politics. In 2007, she ran for the Ward 1 seat against Mr. Raja. She lost, but she said in her interview that she met voters and learned about issues in the process.

Ms. VanKirk will serve the remaining six months of the unexpired term.

More details in Thursday's South Xtra edition.

Kaitlynn Riely: kriely@post-gazette.com ; 412-263-1707.


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