YOUR VOTE COUNTS | Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8: Here are your local candidates
Updated: Nov 1, 2022
Pictured above (l-r): Mike Pendel, Ed Brosky, Jeremy Shaffer, Dan Deasy, Chris Deluzio, Josh Shapiro, Doug Mastriano, John Fetterman, Mehmet Oz, Joe Soloski, Debbie Turici, Christina DiGuilio, Richard Weiss, Valerie Gaydos, Michael Bagdes-Canning, Daniel Wassmer and Anita Kulik.
House of Representatives - 45th District
In the Pennsylvania House of Representatives 45th district, Democrat Anita Astorino Kulik is the incumbent and Michael Pendel is the Republican contender.
The district includes the townships of Stowe, McKees Rocks, Kennedy, Robinson, Collier, Bridgeville, Neville Island, Coraopolis, Pennsbury Village and Carnegie.
KULIK – Kulik served as a Kennedy Township commissioner from 2003 through 2016 and served as the township representative to the Char-West Council of Governments. Kulik also worked as a legislative assistant to her predecessor, State Rep. Nick Kotik. Kulik has held her seat in the 45th district since 2016. She is an attorney.
In her role as State Rep. Kulik serves on the following committees; game and fisheries, liquor control, professional licensure and Veterans affairs and emergency preparedness.
Largely, Kulik has made aid to first responders a priority throughout her tenure and has helped to secure grants for a variety of park and anti-blight projects for the region. Kulik is anti-abortion.
PENDEL – Pendel grew up in Robinson Township and attended Pittsburgh Central Catholic School. He graduated from Duquesne University with a double major in political science and history. Pendel worked for his father, then a nutraceutical company and currently sells medical devices. On his website, Pendel states he will represent “family values,” fiscal conservatism and wants to abolish critical race theory. He is seeking to strengthen the police. Pendel also states on his website that he is seeking to promote alternative energies and rebuild infrastructure.
House of Representatives - 27th District
In the 27th District, Dan Deasy and Ed Brosky are vying for the Pennsylvania House seat. This district includes wards in the City of Pittsburgh as well as Crafton, Green Tree, Heidelberg, Scott Township, Corliss, Sheraden, Idlewood, West End, Duquesne Heights, Westwood, Oakwood, Crafton Heights, Windgap, Fairywood, Ingram and Thornburg.
DEASY – An incumbent, Deasy has served since 2008. According to his website, Deasy worked as a supervisor at Pittsburgh's Public Works Department and served four years as a Pittsburgh city councilman.
Deasy is the Democratic chairman of the House Liquor Control Committee. He’s a member of the PA Safe Caucus, an organization that seeks to curb gun violence, the Policy Committee, which sets legislative policy goals for the Democratic party and the Allegheny County Delegation which also sets policy.
Deasy supported a bill which would expand the free school breakfast and lunch program with the Universal Lunch Program and a bill making anti-union activities non-tax deductible.
BROSKY – Brosky is the Republican challenger. The Carnegie resident is anti-inflation, plans to focus on fighting the fentanyl epidemic and wants to support police financially while also creating “unbiased oversight.”
He supports education and spurring on economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
House of Representative - 44th District
Republican Valerie Gaydos and Democratic challenger Debbie Turici are vying for the 44 District House seat. The 44th district includes townships Findlay, Moon, North Fayette, boroughs Bell Acres, Sewickley Hills, Sewickley Heights, Hayes, Leetsdale, Edgeworth, as well as the townships of Leet, Crescent, Aleppo, Glen Osborne, Hawsville and Glenfield. On Feb. 4, the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission approved new State and Senate districting maps. Come Dec. 1 of this year the district will lose Ohio Township, due to redistricting, according to staff member Bonita Wilson.
GAYDOS – Republican incumbent Valerie Gaydos has served since 2018 and is seeking a third term. She has a background in business, founding the company Capital Growth Inc. in 1994 which published financial information to subscribers, then later made her name as an angel investor.
According to her biography from John Hopkins University Alumni Association, “Valerie earned a BA in Russian Language and Economics from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she races sailboats on the Chesapeake Bay (and wherever else the opportunity arises.)”
Gaydos voted for a constitutional amendment that would have forbidden any public funding for abortion and would require voters to present a valid I.D. before voting. She voted in favor of limiting off-road vehicles and permitting the forfeiture of such vehicles. Gaydos co-sponsored a bill that would ban transgender girls from playing sports and a bill that would make it easier for gun owners to challenge local gun laws which are stricter than state laws.
Gaydos has helped to secure grants for the development of the Pittsburgh International Airport and infrastructure in the borough of Edgeworth and Moon.
TURICI – Democratic challenger Debbie Turici is from Moon Township and was a school teacher in the West Allegheny School District for 33 years. She served as chair of the PSEA Political Action for Children and Education, vice-chair of the Western Region PSEA, and created the PSEA Fine Arts Caucus for arts and education statewide. She chairs the West Hills Democratic Organization, is former President of the West Allegheny Education Association, is an elected DNC delegate for President Joseph Biden, and a member of the Moon Township Democratic Committee according to her website. She is active in the Moon Township Garden Club and grows an “Italian style” garden.
Turici states on her website that she is pro-union, pro-choice and pro-public school.
SHAPIRO – Democrat Josh Shapiro is running to replace Tom Wolf as governor.
Shapiro’s political history includes a tenure in Pennsylvania’s 153rd Legislative District from 2004 to 2010. He became the Chair of Montgomery County in 2011 and then was elected Attorney General of Pennsylvania in 2016 and 2018.
According to his website, Shapiro, “exposed the Catholic Church’s decades-long cover-up of child sexual abuse, identifying over 300 predator priests and thousands of victims and spurring investigation across the United States.”
Shapiro says he is focusing on job creation through funding infrastructure including a project
to “plug hundreds of thousands of abandoned wells across the Commonwealth,” energy efficiency projects, investing in sewer and stormwater repair, and fixing structurally deficient bridges and roads. Shapiro is pro-choice, wants to staff and train police forces, expand the rights of the disabled and promote economic equality.
Austin Davis is running as Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket.
MASTRIANO – Republican candidate Douglas Mastriano served in the armed forces for 30 years and retired in 2017 as a colonel. He was elected as a Senator for Pennsylvania's 33rd District in 2019.
Mastriano is running on an anti-mask, anti-vaccine agenda. Mastriano states on his website he wants to sign a “heartbeat law” into effect so abortion will be denied as soon as a fetal heartbeat is present. He is for charter schools, anti-trans legislation, anti-immigration legislation and lowering taxes. Mastriano is against the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative which would limit the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
“Under Mastriano, Pennsylvania will drill and mine like it should, and Pennsylvania will prosper,” Mastriano states on his website.
During his time as a senator, Mastriano co-sponsored a bill to keep trans-gendered girls from playing sports, voted to repeal the Pennsylvania Heavy Diesel Control program, and voted to expand concealed carry laws. He also voted for a bill that would prohibit Pennsylvania from joining the regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Carrie DelRosso is running as Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket.
DiGUILIO – Christina DiGiulio is running as a Green Party candidate. DiGiulio is an avid lover of nature, a “water protector” and Pennsylvania resident near Marsh Creek Lake. According to the Green Party Website, Christina has a B.A. from Lock Haven University and is a former analytical chemist for the Department of Defense. She co-founded the Watchdogs of South-Eastern Pennsylvania (WaSEPA) and the Better Path Coalition, and “has been actively opposed to Energy Transfer’s Mariner East pipeline system and the fossil fuel industry.”
In a press release announcing her candidacy, DiGuilio stated she was for universal healthcare coverage, reproductive rights, equal pay for women, improvements to education and steps to end poverty. She is opposed to fossil fuel infrastructure.
She got her start opposing the XLT pipeline in Chester County where she was involved in the cleanup of Marsh Creek.
DiGiulio has not held elected office.
Michael Bagdes-Canning is running as Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket.
SOLOSKI – Joseph Soloski is running as the Keystone Party candidate. The Halfmoon Township resident states that he is a Certified Public Accountant. Soloski wants to sell off state-run liquor stores, limit emergency powers of the government, implement more charter schools to completely revamp the education system, convert to a part-time legislature, limit spending, introduce term limits, introduce a constitutional amendment to establish state pension reform and eliminate inheritance taxes. He is pro-reproductive rights and seeks to decriminalize cannabis along with other drugs. Soloski wants to eliminate personal income tax in Pennsylvania and make it into a “tax haven,” according to his website.
Nicole M. Schultz is running as Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket.
HACKENBURG – Matt Hackenburg is running as a Libertarian. His message is freeing voters from “tyranny.” As per his website, he believes “politicians that don’t care about us control every aspect of our lives.” On his site he states: “Our children have suffered enough. They're forced to attend failing government schools, stripped of their creativity, indoctrinated into servanthood, and robbed of their dignity while being muzzled literally and figuratively throughout. We as parents know best how to raise our kids, and the State shouldn't come between us.” He wants to abolish taxes and federal law.
Candidates are running to replace Rep.Conor Lamb.
DeLUZIO – Thornburg resident Christopher DeLuzio is an Iraq War Veteran and attorney who specializes in voting rights. The Democratic candidate earned a bachelor of science degree from the Naval Academy of Annapolis, served three tours in Iraq, graduated from Georgetown, worked as a law clerk for a federal judge and then joined the Brennan Center for Justice on the Voting Rights and Election Security teams. According to his website, Deluzio was “part of the Pitt Faculty Organizing Committee with the United Steelworkers, fighting successfully for a union.”
He volunteers with the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania and serves as a Naval Academy Blue and Gold Officer. He does pro-bono legal work for indigent Allegheny County residents and veterans.
Deluzio is running on protecting voting freedoms, protecting unions, ensuring reproductive freedom, bringing manufacturing back to the United States and mitigating the impact of climate change.
SHAFFER – Republican Jeremy Shaffer earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, started his own business InspectTech which creates software related to bridges and other infrastructure projects and served as a Ross Township board president and commissioner. According to his website, he is a “Northland Library Foundation Board member, Northern Tier Library Board Member, founder of Walk/Bike Ross, and coach on numerous youth sports teams.”
Shaffer is pro-life, against critical race theory, wants to secure our borders, is for charter schools and wants to invest more in infrastructure.
Lt. Governor John Fetterman, former television star Mehmet Oz and several third-party candidates are vying to replace outgoing Republican Senator Pat Toomey in the United States Senate.
FETTERMAN – Democratic contender, John Fetterman, went to Albright College and then earned a master's in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He served as mayor of Braddock from 2005 to 2018 and then served as Lieutenant Governor under Tom Wolf.
Fetterman supports criminal justice reform and supports the legalization of marijuana.
“As the chair of Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons, John has led the fight to give second chances to non-violent longtime inmates and free those who have been wrongfully convicted,” according to Fetterman’s website. He states he has a five-part plan he will implement if elected; increase manufacturing in the United States, cut taxes for working people, ban Congress from trading stocks, slash out-of-pocket healthcare costs and end price gouging.
OZ – Republican Mehmet Oz, earned a degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business in 1986. A dual citizen of both the United States and Turkey, Oz served in the Turkish Land Services in order to maintain his Turkish citizenship. A former cardiologist, Oz has written numerous books and hosted a television show espousing alternative medical cures. According to the Washington Post, in 2014 Oz was called before the U.S. Senate and criticized for selling dangerous diet pills.
Under issues on his website, it reads: “Dr. Oz is fundamentally promising to help re-light the ‘divine spark’ inside every American and empower us to live better lives.” He promises to do
that by modernizing healthcare, supporting charter schools and stopping illegal immigration.
WEISS – Richard L. Weiss, Esq. a Green Party candidate, supports Medicare for All, reproductive rights, sensible gun regulation and restorative justice reforms that reduce crime and save money, while improving police professionalism, according to the Green Party Website. Weiss is anti-fracking and supports a transition to renewable energy. He wants negotiated peace in Ukraine and to bring troops home. Weiss is a Pittsburgh resident who has run for office several times. He’s an attorney who has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development and in Indonesia. “He possesses a J.D. from the University of Denver, a Master of Laws in International legal studies from American University in Washington, D.C., and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago,” according to the Green Party website.
WASSMER – Daniel Wassmer is running as an Independent who has been endorsed by the Keystone Party of Pennsylvania as their official candidate. He states on his website he is pro-choice, pro-second amendment, pro-justice system reform and anti-corruption.
Wassmer was drawn to the Keystone Party because he became disillusioned with the Democratic and Republican parties. According to his Bucks County Community College bio, where he teaches part time, Wassmer “previously served as both an Assistant County Solicitor to the County of Bucks as well as the Managing Partner of the Law Firm previously known as Wassmer & Hill, LLP.” The site also states that Wassmer is a certified SCUBA instructor.
GERHARDT – Erik Chase Gerhardt is running as the Libertarian candidate. He wants to implement a flat sales tax. He would like to completely eliminate property taxes. Gerhardt states on his website he is against extra credit for unemployment benefits. His stance on crime is to increase funding to police.
“At the police academy, I propose training recruits in jujitsu specifically as a means of subduing suspects with as little brutality as possible. This will help to minimize using deadly force,” Gerhardt states on his website.
Gerhardt is a Pennsburg, Pennsylvania resident who owns a carpentry company.
JOHNSON – Ronald Johnson is running with the Constitution Party. On his website he says he wants to finish building a border wall, cut wasteful spending and follow the U.S. Constitution.
“We don’t need federal agents snooping into our taxes when we pay rent, or the Department of Education telling us that we’re domestic terrorists because we stood up to the school board,” Johnson writes on his website.
MAGEE – Quincy Magee is from Philadelphia and is running as an Independent. There is little else listed on his website.
STERN – Everett Stern is the founder of Rabbit Capital Management. He was born in New York City, but has been a Pennsylvania resident since 2011. He is running as an Independent on a platform of national security, a strong support of free-market capitalism and securing the borders against immigration. As stated on his website, he does not believe that “throwing money at education” will improve student outcomes.