Democratic Party leader dies at Johnstown rally

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Seconds after giving a roaring introduction to a state judicial candidate at a breakfast rally Saturday, the longtime head of the Democratic Party in Cambria County collapsed and died.

Bill Joseph, 80, of Franklin, had just introduced state Superior Court Judge Seamus McCaffrey at a Johnstown restaurant when he collapsed, witnesses said. Judge McCaffrey is a candidate for the state Supreme Court.

"Judge McCaffrey walked around in front of the table to talk to the people and ... Bill collapsed," said Ed Cernic Sr.

Norman Joseph told The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown that his father had few health complaints and no known heart problems.

Bill Joseph was active in the Democratic Party throughout his adult life and became county chairman in 1978.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Johnstown.


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