Your guide to the Nov. 2 municipal election


Promiti Debi | Senior Staff Illustrator

The Nov. 2 general election takes place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will decide several municipal appointments.

By Katie Cassidy, Staff Writer

Pittsburgh voters will be able to decide several municipal appointments  — including the new mayor — when polls open for the Nov. 2 general election.

In-person voting will take place next Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All mail-in ballots must be received by the county elections office by Tuesday at 8 p.m. During municipal elections, appointments are determined for city officials, county officials, judges and magisterial district judges. There will be no federal or state officials on the ballot since it is an odd-numbered year. 

Voters will decide the mayoral race between Democratic candidate Ed Gainey and Republican candidate Tony Moreno. Gainey won the Democratic nomination in the May primary election, and Moreno accepted the Republican nomination after coming in third in the Democratic primary. He received the highest number of Republican write-in votes to get the nomination. 

Pittsburgh City Council seats in Districts 2, 4, 6 and 8 are all up for election, in addition to Allegheny County Council seats in Districts 1, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 12. Oakland is part of City Council Districts 3, 6 and 8 and Allegheny County Council District 10. Neither of these offices are on the ballot this year.

Ed Gainey (D)

Gainey currently represents District 24 in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, serving in the role since 2013. Gainey received the Democratic nomination after Mayor Bill Peduto conceded in the May primary.

Gainey’s top priorities include criminal justice reform, neighborhood and housing accessibility, environmental sustainability and youth representation in government. If elected, he plans to work closely with the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh and Urban Redevelopment Authority, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Gainey’s plans include “demilitarizing” the police force and shifting those investments to new training and de-escalation strategies. He intends to increase school funding, work to raise the minimum wage for workers across the City and reduce Pittsburgh’s carbon footprint.

Gainey supports legislative actions to tax UPMC and legalize marijuana.

Tony Moreno (R)

Moreno, the Republican mayoral candidate, is a retired police officer and Army veteran, running for mayor after serving 24 years in the Pittsburgh police force. Moreno is a member of the Veteran Police Association, Local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Greater Pittsburgh Police Emerald Society, Allegheny Country Rifle Club and Locking Arms Men’s Fellowship.

Moreno proposes a restructuring of the Department of Public Works to provide “safe and reliable infrastructure,” improve winter weather response and update technology. Moreno said he “understands the frustration many Pittsburgh residents have when it comes to effective snow removal and waste management.”

Moreno’s public safety agenda includes police reform and a focus on addiction, homelessness and mental illness. He plans to incorporate the crisis intervention training he pioneered during his time on the force and to “overhaul” police hiring in an effort to create a more diverse police force.

Moreno plans to “conduct a comprehensive review of the park tax,” a property tax increase for the purpose of improving City parks, and will move for a new vote to once again ratify the tax.

Pittsburgh City Council:

District 2

Theresa Kail-Smith (D, Incumbent)

Smith was elected to Pittsburgh City Council in 2009 and currently serves as Council President Pro Tempore. Smith’s main priorities include economic development, social service and the environment.

District 4

Anthony Coghill (D, Incumbent)

Coghill helped bring a new Department of Public Works facility to District 4 after it had been previously shut down, and he facilitated a reconstruction of Broadway Avenue during his time in office. Coghill’s plans include updating City services and reducing substance use. 

Connor Mulvaney (Green Party)

Mulvaney is a Brookline resident and bike technician running for office with a grassroots, third party movement. His campaign focuses on addressing environmental concerns, improving the housing market and increasing the workforce. 

District 6 

  1. Daniel Lavelle (D, Incumbent)

Lavelle was elected to Pittsburgh City Council in 2009 and was appointed as the chair of the finance and law committee in 2020. Lavelle has led economic and social justice initiatives and pushed for equitable development in his district.

District 8

Erika Strassburger (D, Incumbent)

Strassburger was elected in 2017 to Pittsburgh City Council after serving as the District 8 Chief of Staff. Strassburger passed legislation protecting pregnant workers from employment discrimination and initiated new gun ordinances.

Allegheny County Council

District 1

Jack Betkowski (D)

Betkowski is currently serving his second term as Ross Township commissioner. He also serves on the Public Safety and Finance Committees and as the Ross Township representative on CONNECT and the North Hills Council of Governments.

Joe Wise (R)

Wise was elected to the Moon Township Board of Supervisors in 2013 and is currently working as a regional real estate agent. Wise’s campaign focuses on budgeting, taxation and business policies.

District 3

Anita Prizio (D, Incumbent)

Prizio was elected to Allegheny County Council in 2017 and is the owner and operator of a small business. In her first term, Prizio obtained paid sick leave for workers, created an Independent Police Review Board and passed legislation to control diesel emissions.

Meredith Dolan (R)

Dolan currently does operations work for a tech startup company and previously served as a chief of staff to a member of Congress. Dolan’s campaign focuses on supporting law enforcement, addressing paid family leave and improving infrastructure.

District 4

Patrick Catena (D, Incumbent)

Catena is currently in his first term on Allegheny County Council and serves as County Council President. His campaign focuses on enhancing business operations and increasing revenue.

District 8

Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis (D)

Naccarati-Chapkis has worked the last 11 years as an executive director of a regional nonprofit. Her platform mainly addresses equitable housing and environmental concerns.  

Eric Casteel (R)

Casteel worked in software development and cyber security for 38 years. His campaign focuses on increasing law enforcement and economic development funding. 

District 9

Bob Macey (D, Incumbent)

Macey was elected to office in 2017 and currently serves as the council liaison to the Allegheny County Airport Authority. He is active in volunteerism and community revitalization projects.

District 12

Robert Palmosina (D, Incumbent)

Palmosina was elected in 2017 and is the current chair of the Pittsburgh Democratic Party 20th Ward and public works director for Collier Township. He focuses on youth mentorship and public works programs.

Judicial Elections:

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Maria McLaughlin (D)

McLaughlin worked as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia and later chief of the child support enforcement unit. Her campaign is focused on protecting the rights of children and promoting anti-violence and anti-drug initiatives.

Kevin Brobson (R)

Brobson has served as a judge on the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and his colleagues elected him as 10th President Judge in 2020. His campaign focuses on a fair and impartial judiciary.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

There are 18 candidates running for 10 open seats on the Court of Common Pleas.

Chelsa Wagner (D)

Wagner is currently serving as Allegheny County Controller and her campaign focuses on health care accessibility, the environment and paid family leave.

Sabrina Korbel (D/R)

Korbel is the legal director of the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. Her top priorities include addressing domestic violence and improving the justice system for refugees.

Wrenna Watson (D)

Watson currently serves as magistrate judge in the Pittsburgh Municipal Court and is a past chair of Pittsburgh’s Planning Commission. Her platform addresses the need for judicial reforms and fair courtrooms.

Lisa Middleman (D/R)

Middleman is a public defender and her campaign prioritizes school partnerships and treatment for addiction and mental illness.

Nicola Henry-Taylor (D)

Taylor is a private attorney in family and criminal courts and her campaign centers on advocacy for people of color and reducing systemic bias.

Elliot Howsie (D)

Howsie is an incumbent judge running for reelection. He supports social justice reform, expunging criminal records and addressing food insecurity.

Tiffany Sizemore (D)

Sizemore is a clinical law professor at Duquesne University. She endorses juvenile and criminal legal reforms and equal access to courtrooms.

Bruce Beemer (D/R)

Beemer is an incumbent judge running for reelection and previously addressed fraud and investigated corruption in state agencies and among state officials.

Jessel Costa (D)

Costa served for the past six years as deputy attorney general and now works in private practice. His experience includes prosecutions of “some of the most heinous” crimes, such as child sexual abuse and pornography cases.

Tom Caulfield (D)

Caulfield worked as a public defender before serving as magisterial district judge since 2010. He oversaw cases involving families, children and businesses in the Pittsburgh area.

Joseph Patrick Murphy (R)

Murphy served as an Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas arbitrator and worked for 20 years as a private practice attorney. He supports a “transparent, rational and reasonable” legal system.

Anthony DeLuca (R)

DeLuca formerly served as an assistant district attorney and criminal defense attorney. His campaign focuses on mental health assistance and compassion in the courtroom.

Daniel Konieczka (R)

Konieczka has served as magisterial district judge after working as a former prosecutor and defense attorney. He prioritizes community development and youth mentorship.

William Caye (R)

Caye works as a private attorney and previously taught at Duquesne University and Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law. He supports programs for mental health, addiction and vulnerable populations.

Chuck Porter (R)

Porter is a trial worker and previously served in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office. He believes in equality in the legal system and fair representation of diverse populations.

Mark Patrick Flaherty (R)

Flaherty formerly served as the Allegheny County Controller. He supports reform within the jail and an increased use of rehabilitation practices.

Rick Hosking (R)

Hosking is a certified mediator and trial lawyer and served on cases involving lawsuits, health care, labor and employment, business disputes and insurance.

Richard Weiss (Green)

Weiss worked as an attorney for the federal government and on international development projects. He supports decriminalizing drug use and ending cash bail.