Candidates Face Challenges Under Election Law

Two countywide candidates and one mayoral candidate are facing challenges to their candidacies in primary elections here in Washington County.

The challenges against all three of the candidates were made before the deadline. Two of the candidates are Republican – Mark Kennison, who is running for Mayor of Washington, and David A. Borodaty, who is running for county treasurer, and one is a Democrat – Frank Scandale, who is running for re-election to his position as Clerk of Courts.

According to Washington resident Georgiana Farkas, Scandale did not submit a statement indicating his intention to run for office. He had filed an annual statement of financial interests, but did not complete the other filing, a misstep called “a fatal error” by Attorney Sean Logue, who represents Farkas.

Scandale’s attorney, speaking for his client, stated that Scandale’s failure to file his intention is neither fatal, legally, nor defective, and that they will argue that in court. Scandale is being represented by Attorney James Jeffries.

Scandale was the single Democrat to file for the row office. He was elected in 2015. Former Washington mayor Brenda Davis is a Republican seeking nomination for the same position.

David Borodaty’s issue is questions about errors in his statement of financial interest and his residency. Peters Township resident Mark A. Mikec filed the petition against Borodaty.

According to Mikec, Borodaty does not live in Washington County. Mikec believes the candidate for treasurer “maintains an address” in Belle Vernon in Fayette County. Mikec also said that Borodaty’s August 17, 2018 voter registration listed an address of 600 Mary St., Monongahela as his residence. This falls short of the requirement for elected Washington County treasurers, which is for a minimum one-year residency.

Borodaty denies living at the Belle Vernon address, insisting that he has always voted in Washington County. On Wednesday afternoon, he told reporters he had moved to Monongahela from Donora.

He suggested that citizens who planned to vote check their addresses on their voter registrations to make certain they were recorded properly, so there is not an issue with them on election day.

Mikec’s claims of errors on Borodaty’s statement of financial interest stem from Borodaty failing to list sources of income. His social media post indicates he is one of the co-founders of Aesthetic Implant Reconstructive Dentalplex in Allegheny County.

Borodaty is a veteran and on Social Security disability, which he says is his income source. He says he is happy to provide the correct information on the form, and that he is amending it and will refile. He stated he appreciated the mistake being caught and brought to his attention. Borodaty called himself a proponent of transparency and said that omitting his income source was an oversight on his part.

Borodaty is joined in his attempt to gain the Republican nomination for treasurer in the primary by Tom Flickinger. Democratic candidates for the office are Joe Manning and Lisa F. Carpenter. The current County Treasurer, Francis King, is retiring.

The challenge to mayoral candidate Kennison comes from Catherine C. Strope. She claims there is a list of errors on Kennison’s nominating petitions. Some of these errors include incorrect dates, multiple signatures in the same handwriting, signatures from Democrats, duplicate signatures, signatures from people who are not registered voters, and signatures from people who do not live inside the city of Washington.

Samuel Dalfonso, who is representing Strope, says that 88 of the signatures were in error and should be stricken, which would leave Kennison with 71 signatures that are valid. He needs 100 valid signatures to be listed on the primary ballot.

Reporters could not reach Kennison for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

If he gets the nomination, Kennison will be facing incumbent mayor Scott Putnam, who is a Democrat.

Hearings have been scheduled for Monday and Tuesday afternoon on these election cases. President Judge Katherine B. Emery added them to the docket.

Other candidates seeking nominations are Republicans Dana Hammond and Joseph DeThomas, and Democrats Trent Somes III, Joseph Pintola, and incumbent Ken Wescott. All are seeking city council nominations for four-year terms.

Two countywide, one mayoral candidate face challenges under election law