The Courier’s General Election Endorsements

Pennsylvania

Northeast / Pennsylvania 19 Views

by Courier Newsroom

The race was much closer than most people in Allegheny County would have thought.

Longtime District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. did defeat his Democratic challenger, Turahn Jenkins, an African American, in the May 2019 primary election. But Zappala’s margin of victory was 59-41 percent, much closer than most expected, especially against an African American challenger in a county that is barely 14 percent Black.

Jenkins, like many African Americans in our area, felt that the District Attorney’s office didn’t put their best foot forward in the prosecution of Michael Rosfeld, the former East Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose in June 2018. Jenkins even said if he were the D.A., he would have prosecuted the case himself.

Ultimately, Rosfeld was found not guilty on all counts, and while he walks around a free man, a Black teen is no longer here, and many African Americans have told the New Pittsburgh Courier that their faith in Zappala as D.A. is slim to none.

As we all prepare to cast our votes in next week’s Nov. 5 general election, the New Pittsburgh Courier is expressing a vote of “No Confidence” in the District Attorney race. We understand the feelings of many African Americans in this area, and combined with Zappala not engaging in any public debates with challengers, and not coming to the Courier offices to speak with our editorial board, we cannot openly give Zappala our official endorsement.
At the same time, we cannot give his current challenger, Lisa Middleman (an independent), our endorsement, either. She has vowed to “overhaul our broken District Attorney’s office,” as “the incumbent’s years of poor judgment have harmed victims, cost taxpayers millions, and torn apart families,” according to her website.

Middleman jumped into the race just a few months ago, and the Courier, without a visit from her to our editorial board, is unsure that she is the right candidate to unseat Zappala. Simply put, we know she’s a longtime public defender and criminal defense attorney who knows the fundamentals, but we’re not 100 percent convinced she’s ready to tackle the concerns of Pittsburgh’s African American community in such a high-profile position.

Courier readers, you can make your own decision at the ballot box. For the position of county District Attorney, we’re leaving our ballot blank.

Below is a list of our endorsements of candidates whom we are confident to support, knowing they are competent to begin or continue serving in public office.

Pennsylvania Justice of the Superior Court
AMANDA GREEN-HAWKINS

County Court – Judicial Retention Questions
KIM BERKELEY CLARK
JOSEPH K. WILLIAMS

County Chief Executive
RICH FITZGERALD

County Controller
CHELSA WAGNER

County Council District 10
DEWITT WALTON

County Council District 13
OLIVIA BENNETT

Pittsburgh City Council District 9
RICKY V. BURGESS

Pittsburgh School Director District 2
DEVON TALIAFERRO

Pittsburgh School Director District 8
KEVIN L. CARTER

&

Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hl

Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier

The post The Courier’s General Election Endorsements appeared first on New Pittsburgh Courier.

Comments