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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Deb Gross, Allegheny County Democrats respond to Ceoffe lawsuit

Posted By on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 4:11 PM

As we were sharpening up the deathless prose of this post about craziness in the District 7 special election, we received press statements from the Allegheny County Democratic Committee and Deb Gross about the lawsuit filed by Gross' rival, Tony Ceoffe. Rather than add even more verbage to that earlier post -- and rather than spoil its metrical arrangement and vivid prose -- I'm reprinting the statements below below

Statement from the Deb Gross campaign:

"Our city and our neighborhoods are not well-served by playing political games and filing petty lawsuits. That's the politics of the past. Pittsburgh is ready to move on.

"As city councilwoman, I will be a leader who focuses on neighborhood-based development, making sure that all residents enjoy the benefits of economic growth, and to continue to make our neighborhoods a great place to live, to work, and to raise a family.

"I will let Mr. Ceoffe and the lawyers argue over the past; I am running a campaign based on optimism and looking to Pittsburgh's future."

Statement from the Allegheny County Democratic Party:

Today, the Allegheny County Democratic Committee and Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills were served with a lawsuit filed by Tony Ceoffe, Jr., challenging the outcome of the Democratic nomination, which took place Sunday, July 21.

Members of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee met last weekend to cast a vote in determining the Democratic nomination for the special election to fill the vacancy on Pittsburgh City Council's 7th District. In that vote, Deb Gross was duly nominated over Tony Ceoffe, Jr. by a vote of 47-43. There were also two un-counted provisional ballots cast.

"It is always exciting to see the Democratic process at work," said Allegheny County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills. "Both candidates worked hard in reaching out to our Democratic committee members in a campaign that was shortened by the constraints of a special election. We had a lot of interest in the race, with over 85% turnout of eligible voters.

"At the conclusion of voting, we counted the ballots multiple times in front of the candidates. I asked both candidates: 'Do you agree with the results of this election and the count?' Both answered 'Yes.'"

The following day, Tony Ceoffe, Jr.—the chair of the 6th ward Democratic committee—changed his party affiliation from Democratic to "No Affiliation." Several days later, he filed a lawsuit challenging the nomination process that he took part in.

"The lawsuit that Ceoffe has filed is baseless and highly suspicious, considering his participation in the process," Mills continued. "I'm not sure what Ceoffe is used to, but we take pride in running a Democratic party that is transparent, principled, and representative of Democratic voters in Allegheny County."

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