After nasty campaign, Braddock mayor Fetterman breezes to win
Braddock Mayor John Fetterman talks with reporters after learning of his primary election victory last night.
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Braddock Mayor John Fetterman emerged as the clear victor in last night's Democratic primary after a campaign fight against Braddock native Jayme Cox that some say was the nastiest and most polarizing in recent memory.
Election watchers said Mr. Fetterman garnered 294 votes to Mr. Cox's 103 votes.
Mr. Fetterman said he hoped to use his next term in office to build a better relationship with council members. During the campaign, he was repeatedly criticized for failing to build consensus and for being "out of touch," and at the last council meeting some members called for the police chief to arrest him for bringing up Mr. Cox's arrest record during the mayor's report.
But he said he planned to "reach across the aisle" and ask council members what they would like to see in the community.
"I don't want there to be anymore division," he told a group of Cox supporters outside the borough building in an attempt at reconciliation. "It's painful and it's hurting the community."
Mr. Fetterman's detractors were vocal in their criticism of him, accusing him of trying to become "Braddock's landlord."
Even as Mr. Fetterman delivered a short statement to a group of supporters after the results were released at the borough building, a man in a minivan stopped in the street and yelled "Say no to Fettermanville!" repeatedly for about a minute.
The mayor laughed it off, saying, "I guess I didn't get your vote."
Mr. Cox accused the mayor of dirty tactics for bringing up his arrest record, which was not public, and a resulting protection-from-abuse order his wife filed against him in 2004. Borough solicitor Lawrence Shields also took issue with Mr. Fetterman discussing the report, saying it constituted an abuse of mayoral authority.
Many of those who voted for the mayor, like Marlene Clanagan, lauded his efforts to provide local children with summer jobs and how he made himself accessible to residents.
"He has done some positive things with the basketball court and trying to get jobs for the kids. And he's not invisible."
First Published May 20, 2009 12:45 am