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MEET THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEES

 
 
 
 
Amanda Green-Hawkins
Candidate for Superior Court Judge

Campaign website: AmandaGreenHawkins.com

Email: info@amandagreenhawkins.com

Amanda Green-Hawkins has a deep passion for the law and public service.
 

The best way to understand Amanda’s passion, grit and determination would be to reflect on her early years. A product of the public school system, Amanda went to college earning her undergraduate BA degree from Duke University. She continued on her path of higher education working three jobs to pay her way through school while attending and graduating from Northeastern University School of Law.

As for Public Service, Amanda ran and won twice to be an elected member of the Allegheny County Council. She has also served on many community boards including Women for the Future of Pittsburgh, Women’s Law Project, Urban League of Pittsburgh, NAACP- Pittsburgh Chapter, Democratic National Committee (DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee) and the Port Authority Transportation Board of Allegheny County.


Amanda is running for Superior Court because she knows the importance of checks and balances, and judicial integrity. Amanda has the compassion and the experience to join the court ensuring a valuable work ethic and understanding of judicial process. “There should never be an attitude of ‘less important’ cases, each case deserves a complete meritorious review.” Amanda is a precision-driven attorney who works on behalf of working families. She will always bring a well formulated, reasoned arguments to the court, it is what she does every day.


Active members of their community, Amanda and her husband Rommie live and work in the City of Pittsburgh with their two children Caden, a Pittsburgh Public School student and Cassia, age 3.

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Daniel McCaffery
Candidate for Superior Court Judge

Campaign website: JudgeMcCaffery.com

Contact Us: JudgeMcCaffery.com/Contact

A lifelong Philadelphian, Judge Daniel D. McCaffery was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia. One of seven children, Dan’s father was a printer while his mother was a custodial worker for the School District of Philadelphia.

After graduating from Father Judge High School, Dan served on active duty in the United States Army, First Cavalry Division from 1983 through 1986 and the United States Army Reserve, 304th Civil Affairs Unit from 1986 to 1988. After leaving the Army, Dan graduated from Temple University (B.A. SCAT, 1988) and Temple Law School (J.D., 1991).

Judge McCaffery began working for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office in 1991. He was a prosecutor assigned to the Major Crime Unit. During his time in the District Attorney’s office, he prosecuted an excess of 50 jury trials and over 1000 bench trials. He left the District Attorney’s office in 1997 and joined Friedman, Schuman, P.C.  where he was Chairman of the commercial litigation department.

Judge McCaffery ran for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in 2013. Winning the seat on the bench as the second highest vote-getter in the general election. Currently serving as a Trial Judge assigned to one of the busiest trial divisions in Pennsylvania, Judge McCaffery has presided over thousands of trials.

Judge McCaffery currently resides in Philadelphia County and has 2 Daughters, Madison – A Philadelphia Public School Teacher and Mairead – A Junior at Temple University.

 
 
 
 
Rich Fitzgerald
Candidate for County Executive

Campaign website: RichFitzgerald.com

Email: info@richfitzgerald.com

Rich Fitzgerald took office on January 3, 2012.

Rich grew up in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield-Garfield neighborhood.  He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a business minor from Carnegie Mellon University.  Rich started a small business, Aquenef, which provides water treatment equipment and services for industry in the Western Pennsylvania region.

Rich worked on the campaign to change the form of government in Allegheny County.  In 1999, he ran for one of the district council seats on the newly-formed County Council and was elected to represent a district that included suburban municipalities and city neighborhoods.  He held the seat for twelve years and was elected as Council President four times before leaving to run for the office of County Executive.

As County Executive, he is focused on economic development of the region and job creation and works with companies on a weekly basis to address the issues that are priorities to them in growing and being supported in the county.  That focus includes making our airport better, ensuring our public transit system is reliable and sustainable, and providing a climate where a skilled workforce is a key component of our growth.  Rich’s interest in making government more effective and efficient began with the consolidation of row offices when he was on Council, has expanded to include a top to bottom review of county departments and functions by the County Manager and direction to make changes to ensure that county government is responsive to taxpayers and protects their interests.

He and his wife, Cathy, a pharmacist, live in Squirrel Hill.  They have eight children.

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Chelsa Wagner
Candidate for County Controller

Campaign website: ChelsaWagner.com

Email: info@votechelsa.com

As the County’s top fiscal officer, Controller Chelsa Wagner leads the fight against inefficient and inequitable spending, working to root out fraud, waste and abuse in County government. Chelsa brings a fresh, outside perspective focused on making County government more transparent and accountable to taxpayers. Chelsa ensures the Controller’s office is a direct, effective advocate for Allegheny County, this region, and most importantly, the taxpayers.

Chelsa’s priorities have included implementing the City of Pittsburgh’s integration into the County’s financial management system, a merger which will save the City millions while bringing revenue to the County and opening doors to further cooperative ventures with other local government entities; launching a comprehensive examination of the county’s controversial property reassessments, including reviewing contracts with Tyler Technologies, Inc.; improving invoice payment processes to ensure payments are made efficiently and in compliance with contracts; and beginning technology advancements which will greatly increase the transparency of County government, including posting all contracts online.

While representing southern and western neighborhoods of the City of Pittsburgh and South Hills suburban communities in the state House of Representatives from 2006 through 2011, Chelsa served on the Education, Transportation and Urban Affairs committees, and as Secretary and Vice Chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation. She led the fight to stop the closings of neighborhood library branches in Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County, and to devote gaming revenues to strengthening the library system. She has been an innovative leader in the area of collaboration between communities, initiating efforts for planning along the ‘T’ light rail line and the Route 51 corridor. She fought consistently for Allegheny County’s legislative priorities and budgetary needs, and has always advocated for the entire region, beyond just the borders of her district.

Chelsa was raised in the South Pittsburgh neighborhood of Beechview and now resides in the city’s North Point Breeze neighborhood with her husband and their two sons. She graduated from Seton-LaSalle High School and went on to earn a degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. After college, Chelsa took her passion for policy and became a Business Analyst for a large private corporation, working to reform large state and municipal governments across the country. She returned home to attend law school at the University of Pittsburgh. She worked as an attorney in private practice until 2006, when she was elected to the legislature.

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John Weinstein 
Candidate for County Treasurer

John Weinstein is a lifelong resident of Allegheny County. Although Mr. Weinstein started his career in the private sector, he followed his passion by committing to a career in public service and has served as the elected Allegheny County Treasurer since 1999; being re-elected countywide to four (4) consecutive terms. In addition to overseeing the collection, investment and disbursement of over one billion dollars of county funds on a daily basis, Mr. Weinstein is also serving in the capacity of the President of the Retirement Board of Allegheny County and oversees the pension investment portfolio of nearly $800 million.

 

Mr. Weinstein is currently the only Treasurer in Pennsylvania that has won, several years in a row, the coveted ‘Award of Excellence’ by an organization representing the United States and Canada, for the investment policy he has written and implemented in Allegheny County designed to protect the taxpayers’ money. In addition, the Treasurer has become a leader in green initiatives implementing e-taxbilling in Allegheny County whereby making our region the only county in PA to have this innovative technology available.

 

Professional Organizations:

Association of Public Treasurer’s of the USA & Canada
PA County Treasurer’s Association
PA State Tax Collectors Association
Financial Executives International
Government Finance Officers Association
Northeastern Regional Tax Collectors & Treasurers Association

 

Memberships & Activities:

UPCI – University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Institute
Animal Friends, Inc.
Phipps Conservatory
Roberto Clemente Foundation
Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania

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Stephen Zappala 
Candidate for District Attorney

Campaign website: SteveZappala.com

Email: info@stevezappala.org

Since 1998, I have had the privilege of serving as the District Attorney for Allegheny County residents.

As District Attorney, I am the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the county and am responsible for seeking justice on a daily basis for the citizens of this county. In addition, I am also charged with protecting the rights of our society and the individuals who make up that society. To that end, I am extremely proud of the staff of attorneys and support personnel who have been brought together to carry out what is oftentimes a broad and complex mission.

 

I am honored each and every day to represent the citizens of this county. I am confident that this office will continue to carry out its mission with the respect and enthusiasm the residents of this county deserve.

 
 
 
 
Mary McGinley
Candidate for Common Pleas Judge 

Campaign website: McGinleyforJudge.com

Email: info@mcginleyforjudge.com

Mary recognized at an early age the vulnerabilities of seniors and undertook a career path with that population in mind. At Penn State University, she studied Sociology and Gerontology and then graduated from Duquesne University’s School of Law in 2002 where she was a member of the school’s Law Review, a distinction for those in the top 20% of the law class.

Mary started working with the law firm of Meyer, Unkovic & Scott, LLP while in law school and is now a partner with that firm. Mary has a unique practice working on cases in the Pennsylvania trial courts’ Orphans’ Court Division, which protects susceptible populations and litigants. This Division’s jurisdiction includes cases involving guardianships, nonprofit associations, estates, trusts, and wills. An unfortunate fact pattern that Mary often encounters is designing persons wrongfully taking advantage of the aged or infirmed. Mary also tries complex civil disputes in both state and federal courts where she enforces promises parties have made, such as the promise to pay money or to transfer property. Mary has handled cases in at least fifteen different counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 

Mary has received numerous awards and recognitions for her legal career. Among them is her selection to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® List for the years 2015-2019, a designation of top-rated practicing attorneys selected through extensive evaluation. In 2013, Mary was named Woman of the Year by the Duquesne University School of Law’s Women’s Law Association. In 2011, her peers in the legal community honored her with the “Outstanding Young Lawyer Award”, which recognizes outstanding leadership and distinguished service to the legal profession.

Most important to Mary is her family. Mary and her husband, Patrick Earley, are the proud parents of two children, Kristina and Jack. Mary and Pat adopted Kristina from Russia and Jack from China. They reside in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh (also known as the 14th Ward) with their dog, Daisy. As a family, they enjoy celebrating the traditions of their respective heritages. They also like to hike and help to “redd up” Pittsburgh by picking up the litter in their neighborhood.

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Bethany Hallam
Candidate for County Council, At-Large
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Campaign website: BethanyHallam.com

Email: bethanyhallampgh@gmail.com 

Bethany is a lifelong native of Ross Township in Allegheny County. She graduated from North Hills High School and then earned my B.A. from Duquesne University. She is serving her second term on her local Democratic committee, and her first on Pennsylvania’s Democratic State Committee for the 38th Senatorial District. In addition to being an office administrator at INPAX, she has been the “Political Millennial” on John McIntire’s political comedy talk show on KDKA Radio for the past year.

While playing varsity lacrosse for North Hills High School, Bethany tore both her ACL’s, one immediately after recovering from the other. At the time, the overdose epidemic was not as well known as it is today. Bethany was over-prescribed Vicodin, and as a result, became addicted to prescription opioids. Her began my recovery in 2016, and she is fortunate for the support systems that helped make that possible.

Due to her struggles with addiction, Bethany has spent time in our county jail and has temporarily lost her driver’s license. Bethany has seen first-hand the problems in our jail, and she also understands how critical public transit is to so many Allegheny County residents, herself included. Bethany's background would bring a unique insight to council, and that’s exactly what we need in order to move council forward.

Bethany has lived in Allegheny County for her entire life, and she sees our council failing to address the threats to our livelihood. Whether it be dirty air, undrinkable water, or an ineffective criminal justice system, we can do so much better. Instead of publicly discussing ways to fix these problems, council spends the majority of its public meeting time handing out “congratulatory proclamations”. We need to make progress happen.

For more on Bethany's platform - please visit her web page by clicking here.

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John Palmiere
Candidate for County Council, District 6

John Palmiere was appointed to represent District 6 of Allegheny County Council on January 21, 2011, to finish the unexpired term of Ms. Joan Cleary. John served for over 23 years as the Director of the Baldwin Whitehall School District, a position requiring him to remain aware of education issues and of the ever-changing world of local and state concerns. As the District Director, John guided 84 percent of graduates of Baldwin Whitehall High School to pursue post-secondary education. He oversaw the Board through difficult transitions and large projects, including the $64 million renovation of the high school. John served as the Director of the Allegheny County Intermediate Unit, which enhanced his understanding of our region’s education system and allowed him to confront problems impacting the 42 school districts in Allegheny County. He is a member of Baldwin Whitehall High School’s Dedication Committee and is a board member of the Friends of the Baldwin Whitehall Theater Arts.

 

As an entrepreneur, who began Palmiere’s Hair Center 40 years ago, John’s seasoned local business experience allows him to relate to business owners and the economy of Allegheny County. Through his professional career, he interacts with constituents every day, giving him a constant perspective of citizens’ opinions. He was an Adjunct Instructor at the Pittsburgh Barber School and the Professional Barber and Beauty Supplies, Inc., and he currently holds a Pennsylvania Barbers License and Pennsylvania Shop Managers License. He has been a member of the UFCW, Local 23, Barber Division for over 40 years.

District 6 Communities: