Vote 2

Vote 2

Vote 2

Two state legislative districts that appeared as though they would go uncontested in the Nov. 8 general election will now have competitive races.

There will be competitive races for two state House districts that straddle the border between Allegheny and Washington counties.

Two-term state Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Peters Township, fended off a primary challenge in May, and now she’ll have to do so again against a Democrat. While Sharon Guidi of Peters Township initially won the write-in campaign for Democrat, she withdrew her name from the ballot last month, allowing the party to choose a replacement. The party selected Chris Todd of Venetia as the substitute nominee for the 40th state House district that includes Peters Township, Bethel Park and parts of Upper St. Clair.

Meanwhile, there will be a new representative for the neighboring 39th state House district that cozies up to both banks of the Monongahela River between Washington and Allegheny counties. Elizabeth Township attorney Andrew Kuzma defeated two-term state Rep. Mike Puskaric in the Republican primary in May and appeared to be uncontested heading into the general election. However, Rick Self of South Park won his write-in campaign as a Democrat and will face Kuzma in the fall.

That is the extent of competitive races for Republican incumbents running in the remaining Washington County-centric districts.

Unopposed are Rep. Jason Ortitay, whose 46th state House seat straddles Washington and Allegheny counties; Rep. Joshua Kail, whose 15th state House district runs from western Washington County into Beaver County; and Rep. Tim O’Neal, whose 48th district now meanders like a sea serpent from the southwestern corner of Washington County through the city of Washington all the way to Donora in the Mon Valley. State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Carroll, is running unopposed in the 46th state Senate District that encompasses all of Washington and Greene counties.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. He has worked at the Wheeling Intelligencer, Observer-Reporter, Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and Patch.com.

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