My phone rings off the hook, here’s the latest from my journalist’s notebook!

Dem Turncoats

Incumbent State Representative Aaron Bernstine (10th legislative district) is off to a good start on his path towards reelection, thanks in part to a few elected officials from the Democratic party.

Bernstine has a fundraiser at the Crane Room Grille in New Castle tonight as he prepares to face off against his likely Democratic challenger in the fall, Joe McGurk of Beaver Falls (neither candidate has a primary challenger).

Among the names on Republican Aaron Bernstine’s “Host Committee” are Democratic Beaver Falls Mayor George Quay, Democratic New Brighton Mayor Tom Albanese, and Democratic Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court.

Bernstine’s Bipartisan Bears are causing an uproar and politicos in the Democratic Party I’ve spoken with say it won’t go unaddressed.

Benyo Campaign Announces Manager

Attorney Gerald Benyo — a newly minted Democrat who has plans to run for District Attorney in 2019 — is already building up a campaign team.

Attorney Jodi Gill tells me she will be working as a senior adviser and social media coordinator for Benyo. Gill is a part-time Penn State University Professor who also teaches criminal justice at CCAC; she teaches civil service prep courses for the City of Pittsburgh Police and Allegheny County Police.

I spoke briefly yesterday with Nick Cafardi, who has signed on to serve as Benyo’s campaign manager. Cafardi is Dean Emeritus of Duquesne University School of Law and former Assistant Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Law School. He is considered one of the foremost experts on canon law in the United States (with a Doctor of Canon Law degree from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome), was as a founding member of the United States Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth, and was the founding chair of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Commission on Racial and Gender Bias. He served as the General Counsel for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Cafardi is a recognized name in the Democratic Party on both the State and National level who was the national co-chair of Catholics for Obama — he was previously announced to be on the short list of President Barack Obama’s picks for Ambassador to the Vatican.

Gerald Benyo ran for District Attorney in the previous county election, where he was soundly defeated by David Lozier in the Republican Party. Benyo lacked a campaign infrastructure last time around, but with his early announcement it seems he wants to show people things will be different this time.

Politicos tell me Benyo will likely face attorney Ted Knafelc in the Democratic Primary. Sources close to Knafelc say he has the energetic backing of the Beaver County Young Democrats, and that he is also working toward making an early announcement of his campaign team.

“It sounds to me like Benyo’s campaign manager is going to be more impressive than Benyo,” said one Democratic operative backing Knafelc, who asked they not be quoted by name until the candidate makes an official announcement. “Benyo isn’t a real Democrat and he sure as hell isn’t Catholic and I don’t think we’ll have a very hard time getting voters to understand that.”

Old salts in both the Democratic and Republican Parties tell me this race for District Attorney is off to one of the earliest starts they’ve ever seen, with the primary election not taking place until May of 2019.

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.


  1. Democrat or Republican, Independent, Progressive, Communist or whatever, there are no such animals in these races. Beaver County politicians switch labels like clean underwear for the day. Sign up for the most registered voters, then get the dominant straight party vote. Heck, register for all of the labels, just to make sure.

  2. Benyo is a top notch attorney with a top notch team working on his campaign.

    Do not vote for Knafelc. Young and inexperienced, trying to ride in on the name. By voting for Knafelc only keeps the nepotism train running down the crooked track, eventually causing a train wreck.


    • Why would we want to put someone who’s interests are in keeping criminals out if jail in charge of putting them in jail? Be wary of Benyo, he might just be as dirty as they come, I seem to recall vividly a major scandal involving Benyo and Bowtie Martucci. Not to mention the rumors I’ve heard surrounding Benyos questionable ethics in regards to payment for services rendered. I for one refuse to vote for someone who is morally bankrupt and entirely self serving for the office of District Attorney.

    • He has multiple personalities so it doesn’t surprise me he ran as a Republican last time and a Democrat this time.

      If elected, which Gerry will he be. Perhaps the one that doesn’t give a f… like he was on the several occasions that I’m intimate with (non criminal).

      Perhaps he’ll be as pathetic as when he was the campaign manager for Bill Braslawsce and sent me 6 of the same campaign flyers 1 day before the election and 1 the day after. Poor Bill had to pay for all these mismanaged mailings.

      Oh and lest we forget the last minute and illegal propaganda that Gerry wrote and Jodi Gill released during last falls judiciary election.

      No thanks.
      I’m not voting for him.

      Beaver County deserves better than what we have now and all those apparently preparing to run.

  3. Hmm, one article points out democratic officials are upset with democrats supporting a republican and then we have a former republican now democrat running for DA. Political lines are being blurred, it must be the work of those Catholics.

  4. If Bernstine has Quay, Gabauer, Guy,Lozier and Camp, he does not deserve to be elected again, what a joke these 5 are, can even consider them men, nothing but a bunch of kiss a**es who think they are someone. The only thing Ted Knafelc thinks he has, is his fat slob of a dad helping him I hope Benyo blows him out of the water along with Lozier.



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