Thursday, April 24, 2008

The McKeesport Daily News

Douglas thinks she has enough votes to challenge Levdansky By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer In the 39th Legislative District, Republican write-in candidate Monica Douglas of Elizabeth said she thinks she has the 300 votes necessary to get on the ballot for November.If she does, Douglas would run against state Rep. David Levdansky, D-Forward Township, who was unopposed in his party’s primary Tuesday.Such a contest would be a rematch of the 2002 election, which Levdansky won.Douglas, who is Elizabeth council president, said by her unofficial count — initial state and county voting results don’t include the names of write-in candidates — she received 158 write-ins in South Park Township, 150 votes in Jefferson Hills, 42 votes in Elizabeth and 160 votes in Elizabeth Township.If accurate, that total of 510 write-ins should be enough to keep Levdansky, who also ran a write-in campaign on the Republican side, off the GOP side of the ballot.According to complete but unofficial returns from the Allegheny County Elections Division, 671 Republican write-in votes were cast in the 39th. Names of those write-in recipients will not be available until the returns are certified.According to the Washington County Election Bureau, 149 Republican write-in votes were cast.Levdansky received 9,187 votes from Allegheny County Democrats and 2,626 from Washington County Democrats.Douglas said the results were “not bad con­sidering this is a campaign that only got off the ground in the last seven to 10 days.” Douglas said she spent about $250 of her own money on the race and had great support from volunteers and supporters who donated time and in-kind services. She also received sup­port from the National Rifle Association, which sent out mailings on her behalf.Levdansky said Tuesday night he didn’t have an accurate count on how many Republican write-in votes he received but said it wouldn’t be a surprise if he lost against Douglas.“It’s kind of difficult to get a write-in when there is a candidate from that party running,” he said. “I’ve tried it before and I’ve never been successful at it.” Levdansky said he would look forward to “a spirited debate” with Douglas if she gets the nomination.Levdansky said Douglas’ claims that her campaign developed quickly and infor­mally are exaggerated.Douglas’ support from the NRA “clearly stems from my advocacy of the lost and stolen handgun legislation,” the 11­term incumbent said.Douglas said she plans to begin an aggressive fund-rais­ing campaign for November and will create a political action committee.Staff Writer Patrick Cloonan contributed to this story.

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