Andy Dlinn of Squirrel Hill has been selected as the Republican nominee in a Nov. 3 special election to decide who will serve the two months remaining in the term of District 11 Allegheny County Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko. Danko died in office on May 6, 2015, but nevertheless won the Democratic primary later that month.
Democratic Councilwoman Terri Klein was appointed in June to temporarily fill Danko’s seat following her death and until the Nov. 3 election. Klein will also be on the special election ballot to serve the rest of Danko’s term.
While there were no other Republicans up for consideration for the special election, Dlinn’s background makes him an ideal candidate to challenge Klein, according to Roxanne Buckels, executive director of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County.
“I think his background is quite impressive,” said Buckels. “He served in the Navy, and he works in wealth management. I think he will be an incredible person to have on Council.”
Dlinn is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, and has been a member of the John Birch Society for more than 20 years, currently serving as the organization’s Southwestern Pennsylvania section leader. He is a lifetime board member of Congregation Poale Zedeck and the hospitality coordinator for the Lubavitch Center. He also serves on the board of the Zionist Organization of America and is the founder of the Squirrel Hill Citizen’s Patrol, a group of volunteers that patrols the streets of Squirrel Hill each evening and alerts the police of safety concerns.
While, if elected, his term will be brief, Dlinn hopes to help remove the “opaqueness” of County Council, he said.
“My main focus is going to be trying to get more people involved,” said Dlinn. “There needs to be more openness. County Council has become a rubber stamp for the County Executive, and it’s supposed to be a check for that office. It’s not doing what it’s supposed to do.”
Last month, members of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee nominated Paul Klein, a Point Breeze Democrat and no relation to Teri Klein, to represent District 11 for the new four-year term starting in January. Dlinn will not be seeking the seat for that term, he said, as it is too late to enter the race.
Toby Tabachnick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.