Several Jewish candidates from the Pittsburgh area have filed for state, county and local races in the May 17 primary elections.
Among the best-known candidates, Common Pleas Judge David Wecht is making a bid for the state Superior Court.
In the City of Pittsburgh, Joshua Wander is seeking the Republican nomination for the 5th District City Council seat being vacated by Democrat Doug Shields. On the Democratic side, Corey O’Connor, son of Judy Levine O’Connor and the late Mayor Bob O’Connor, also is seeking the seat — the same one his father held for 11 years.
Attorney Marc Daffner is running for Common Pleas Judge and incumbent County Treasurer John Weinstein is seeking re-election to his office.
Joni Rabinowitz, director Just Harvest, is a Democratic candidate for county comptroller. Democrats Jeff Pollock and Dan Butler, and Republican Joe Weinroth are running for East End magisterial seat being vacated by the retiring District Judge Nathan N. Firestone. Shields is also running for the seat.
Wecht, a son of former Allegheny County Coroner and Commissioner Dr. Cyril Wecht, has served on the Common Pleas Court since his appointment in 2003. He has served as administrative judge of the Family Division and a sitting judge on the Civil Division. Prior to his appointment to the court, he served as Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans Court.
O’Connor, 26, a graduate of Duquesne University and a field representative for U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, has taken a leave of absence from his job to run for his father’s old council seat.
Wander studied talmudic law at a rabbinical college in Jerusalem before serving in the Israel Defense Forces and the Air Force auxiliary. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, he served four years as an adviser in the Israeli parliament and four years as the online content editor and political correspondent for The Jerusalem Post before being elected as a state constable in 2003.
Daffner is a founding member of Daffner & Associates, P.C. He is a specially appointed arbitrator in the Court of Common Pleas (Civil Division) and chairs the Civil Service Commission overseeing police disciplinary matters in the South Hills.
In addition to Shields, non-Jewish candidates in these races include, Chris Zurawsky, a former newspaper reporter, member of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee and secretary of the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club, is also running for the 5th District City Council seat. Hugh McGough, a Democrat, is running for the East End District Judge seat.
(Lee Chottiner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)