Your local candidates for the May 16 primary election
GAZETTE 2.0 ELECTION GUIDE
Primaries are fast approaching, May 16, and what follows are some of the names you can expect to see on the ballot. A good-faith effort was made to contact all candidates, but not everyone responded. Write-in candidates are not included. We at Gazette 2.0 encourage you to learn about the candidates and make your vote count!
Election Guide compiled by Staff Writer Elizabeth Perry with assistance from Lori Altmeyer.
COUNCIL & COMMISSIONER RACES
Democrat Incumbent Edward Pitassi is head of the Shade Tree Commission and recently contributed to efforts involving research into a parking study on Main Street.
Democrat Michael Robert Harris is a volunteer firefighter, a member of the Shade Tree Commission and on the board of the Coraopolis Water and Sewer Authority. Harris said he wants to improve the look of the business district on Fourth and Fifth avenues and wants to create more summer programs for children and improve transportation for senior citizens.
In Ward 2, David Pendel is vacating his seat and there are two newcomers to the post.
Democrat John May is the former Public Works Manager at the Borough of Coraopolis who retired early due to a disability.
In the past 10 years, more than 40 portions of streets in Coraopolis have been repaired, and May said the area has steadily improved because of that investment.
“I’d like to continue that,” May said. “I’m strictly focused on doing things to financially help the community and better its development.”
Democrat Kim Haskins works for Amtrak and supports fellow candidate Harris’ bid for the Ward 1 seat. She is active in the Democratic party.
Incumbent Democrat Gary Flasco declined to speak to a reporter in person and did not return several phone calls.
Republican Olesia Johnston is the owner of D&O Wine Cellars and has lived in Coraopolis since 2020. Johnston said if elected she would make informed judgments and was ready to delve into research about the issues impacting residents.
“As the current and previous council members have done tremendous work year to year, I lean toward newly elected council members having fresh eyes and having new ideas,” Johnston said. “All in all, I know I can be a positive and effective representative for the Borough of Coraopolis.”
Incumbent Democrat Robert Cardimen is a volunteer firefighter with the Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department and an aircraft mechanic. Cardimen is running as a Democrat, but has expressed support for Republican talking points and politicians via his Facebook page. He did not return messages.
Republican Trevor M. Reed is involved with the Pennsylvania Emergency Response Center, which helps in search and rescue efforts and in trying to find missing persons and is active with the Boy Scouts. Reed said he’s running in order to “help move Coraopolis forward,” with a fresh perspective. His priorities are to encourage residents to attend meetings to make their needs a priority.
“The biggest concerns I hear from members of the community involve the appearance and condition of the infrastructure and amenities in town, in order to address this it will be critical to work closely with the Borough Manager as well as local organizations to have the largest impact without putting the burden on the taxpayers,” Reed said.
Incumbent Democrat Susan G. Demko is currently board secretary. She works as a realtor and understand how important low taxes and affordable services are to bringing people into an area to buy homes, so she’s made that a priority. Demko has been on the board for eight years. Prior to that she was on the planning commission for four and then on the local Carlynton School Board for a decade.
Demko said there is new business coming to the area, like a new bakery and restaurants, as well as the lighting project coming to downtown. She is running again to see those projects “come to fruition.”
Incumbent Democrat Thomas G. DiPietro has been on the board for four years and serves on the Code Enforcement and Community Development committees, and is also a COG Representative. The retired City of Pittsburgh teacher taught mostly middle-school math for 35 years prior to his work on the council.