Challengers, incumbents secure Belle Vernon school board nominations

For seats on the Belle Vernon Area School District school board, voters in both parties saw to it that three incumbents and two new candidates will advance to the fall general election.

According to unofficial results from the election bureaus for Fayette and Westmoreland counties, and 100 percent of the precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning,

Democratic and Republican voters advanced incumbent school board president Joe Grata and current member Aaron J. Bialon.

Newcomer Michelle Callaway­-Rodriguez of Westmoreland County, who cross­filed for both parties, garnered the highest amount of votes with 352 total Republican votes in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, and 814 total Democratic votes in the same two counties.

Grata secured 296 Republican votes and 782 Democratic votes in both counties, while Bialon secured 292 Republican votes and 668 Democratic votes.

As of press time Tuesday, it was unclear who would secure the final advancement to the fall general election. However, unofficial results now show that Kathellen Forte, who secured 286 Republican votes in Fayette and Westmoreland counties, will advance on the Reublican ticket.

As for the Democratic ticket, incumbent Ronald C. Sotta, with 587 Democratic votes in both counties, will advance on that party’s ticket. Bids by newcomers Candice Saxberg and John Habel III were unsuccessful.

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