Candidate list grows in 3 area contests

August 8, 2008
The Daily News

The unofficial list of candidates for Nov. 4 has grown in at least three area contests.

As listed on Pennsylvania Department of State’s Web site Thursday, there are third-party candidates for the state House in the 35th District and the U.S. House in the 14th District, pending any challenges in Commonwealth Court.

Libertarian David Posipanka, of Homestead, and the Green Party’s Titus North, of Pittsburgh, are returning for another shot at their respective incumbent targets.

Posipanka again filed against state Rep. Marc Gergely, D-White Oak. North (listed on the state Web site as Christopher Titus North) again is taking on U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills.

Meanwhile, the state Web site also now has posted the name of an opponent for U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Westmont, in the 12th District.

A spokeswoman for the Department of State said Thursday afternoon that election officials received some information needed from William Russell’s campaign before they could post his name as Murtha’s Republican opponent.

The posting confirmed that Russell, a retired U.S. Army officer from Johnstown, won the GOP nomination with a spring write-in campaign. Write-ins were gathered after Commonwealth Court pulled him off the primary ballot.

“Murtha and his cronies in Somerset and Johnstown challenged his signatures and managed to kick him off the ballot,” said Russell backer Fran Bevan of North Huntingdon Township, president of the Pennsylvania Eagle Forum.

However, there also have been problems within the campaign. Russell’s former campaign manager filed a complaint against the candidate that still is pending before the Federal Elections Commission.

Russell’s current campaign manager is former Republican and Constitution party gubernatorial candidate Peg Luksik, of Johnstown.