Two Democratic candidates for State Representative are withdrawing their petitions following an investigative report published by the Beaver Countian that called into question their nominations to appear on the ballot.

Democratic state representative candidates Alex Andres and Joe McGurk are submitting paperwork to the state to withdraw their petitions before next Wednesday’s deadline.

Alex Andres was running unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 15th Legislative District hoping to fill a seat being vacated by Republican State Representative Jim Christiana, who is not seeking reelection; Josh Kail is running unopposed in the Republican primary. Joe McGurk was running unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 10th Legislative District, a seat currently occupied by incumbent Republican State Representative Aaron Bernstine, who is also unopposed in his primary.

The Beaver Countian published a report on Monday that revealed Beaver County Prothonotary Nancy Werme had notarized petitions circulated on behalf of Andres and McGurk without the circulators being physically present as required by law. Democratic operative Steven Kochanowski said he must have handed Werme the petitions by accident when he was having ones notarized that he had circulated.

Bucks County attorney Lawrence Otter subsequently filed challenges to the petitions on behalf of several Democrats in the 10th and 15th Legislative Districts, citing the Beaver Countian’s reporting in his court filings. Otter issued subpoenas to Prothonotary Werme and the Beaver County Board of Elections requiring them to appear before the Commonwealth Court for a hearing scheduled on March 23rd.

Attorney Otter tells the Beaver Countian that hearing will no longer be necessary.

“I have gotten confirmation that both McGurk and Andres are withdrawing their candidacies for State Representative,” said Otter. “There will not be a need for a hearing because the matter is now moot.”

Beaver County Democratic Committee Chairman Stephen Dupree confirmed that both candidates have withdrawn their petitions, meaning neither candidates will have their names on the ballot for the primary elections in May.

Dupree told the Beaver Countian that Joe McGurk has decided to run a write-in campaign for State Representative in the 10th Legislative District, but he has not yet heard what Andres’ future plans are.

“I had the 300 signatures on my petitions to be on the ballot,” McGurk told the Beaver Countian. “I was not there when the problem happened but withdrawing the petitions is the right thing to do because of what occurred.”

McGurk said he believes he will be able to secure enough signatures through a write-in campaign to appear on the ballot for the general election in the fall, “I am putting my confidence in the voters of the 10th Legislative District to put me on the Democratic Ticket.”

Alex Andres could not be reached for comment.

See Also: Prothonotary Violated Procedures When Notarizing Several Petitions For State Rep Candidates

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. The fact that both can run as write-in candidates only nullifies the need to file paperwork. The illegal action occurred, a hearing should be had, and people involved need to be held accountable for their nefarious actions. The disgusting part is that now anyone can run as a write-in for a gov’t position just to avoid tedious legalities.

  2. Nefarious actions??? You did notice these two were running unopposed in their primaries. I don’t know how this screwed anyone aside from themselves.

    I think I’ll chalk it up to sloppy work in the Courthouse. We’ve seen that movie before.

  3. Nobody tried to cheat, lie or deceive. It was an error made in the haste of the moment. Nancy Werme is an honest person and admitted her error. If she was trying to be deceitful she could have easily said no comment or ignored the issue altogether for the first story. She didn’t. She did what honest people do and admitted and apologized for her mistake. For my part, I was unaware of the error before seeing the article. I am certainly not part of any swamp. Should anyone have questions they wish to ask me I can be reached at I look forward to meeting man6 if you in the near future. Have a great night.

  4. Joey, you turned in tons of signatures on your petitions that weren’t even registered voters. Werme was one of the many problems you had with your petitions. #DrainTheSwamp

    • More than one worm. Tony the sheriffs worm. Deputy George the worm. I thought sheriffs deputies retired at 75 yrs In the sheriffs Dept. As far as Deputy George must be all that shit he crawls in and of course all the plastic surgery. SOB looks like Connie Javens. And hell he never could run. Like one of his fellow deputies used to say OLD GEORGE RUNS LIKE A ONE LEGGED COUNTRY MULE…..

  5. There were some line item objections stating the signee was registered either other or Republican. None of the signatures were objected to based on not being registered at all. Canvassing is hard work and I was fortunate to have the help of some great volunteers. Errors were made and steps are being made to correct the situation. If by drain the swamp you mean electing Representatives that actually represent their constituents and not special interests you’ve nailed the reason I’m running.

  6. Alex Andres was a Beaver Council member during the Jeffrey Wijnen-Reims traffic stop attack and subsequent lawsuit and paying of heavy fines. He and Council aligned with Madgar and protected the cop from investigation, discipline and firing. He did nothing to stop it, and he could have. Go ahead, elect this social butterfly, but you will have someone more interested in his image than matters of law or politics.

  7. Prior to the Beaver Countian we were so gullible, relying on the Time’s for government news and that was only good when JD Prose was keeping us informed of the antics of various officials.. Of course the Time’s heard the complaints and Prose was reassigned and the Time’s adopted a cheery format full of entertainment news.

      • I’ll not defend Prose. But, back six years or so ago, he confronted George David about his expenditures in the Times. David got pissed off, changed newspapers, and made a scene that opened a door for John Paul to investigate and report the matter. And, get threatened by David. The rest is history.

      • Today, you have a paper that is nothing more than a local version of the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper. Mother Superior Lisa, Sisters Kristen and Kirsten and the Christian Brothers Tom and Tom keep it clean for Father Shane, now in corporate Heaven. They discuss politics in the Confessional, sports in the sermons, and Hail Marys in the gardens with Marsha. Mother Charlotte opines with smarmy wit about the end of the world. Occasionally, patent leather shoes reflect reality, but that’s about all readers will ever get of the upskirt news until their voyeur knuckles are rapped by the corporate priests.

      • Identify the people who are causing the problems, and you will find ways of dealing with them. Some people cannot do this or are unwilling. An undefined “they” run a paper or corrupt the Courthouse, but some are too squeamish to admit the characteristics of the groups and the dynamics driving them. And cyber bullying? C’mon now, get serious and grow up. In the end, it is a small town sociocultural problem, a hundred years old, and some think it is novel with each new name to make these pages.

    • Pulling the “victim” card. At least you spared us the “race” card. How about proof denying the truth? You got nothing but the usual Friends & Family Inc. Pitiful people protecting corrupt scum for personal gain. As always, f-class the taxpayers and the elderly who aren’t in your clique. True Christians! May God have mercy on you hypocrites.

  8. These phony “Christians” know who amongst them are low life criminal scum. Yet they go to church together, socialize and make pitiful excuses for their behavior. Instead of feigning “ethnic loyalty” and coumadas they f-ci,k their fellow taxpayers and feel that is justice. There is a special place in hell for those that turn their backs on these thieving bastards in the name if God and “la familia”. They coopted Jesus, misrepresented their heritage and have plundered America and condoned pedpophilia and other crimes too horrible to mention. Myanmar you all meet the one true God that struck down idolatory and phony saints.

  9. Classic. Its like watching wild animals eat their young out of desperation. Quote of the week. Steven Kochanowski said he “must have handed Werme the petitions by accident” when he was having ones notarized that he had circulated. What a liar. This asshole knew exactly what he was handing Werme. The only difference between this election and past elections; They got caught.!!!!! Joe McGurk save your excuses for someone else. Werme did not just admitted it. She found out that someone outside the circle knew, so to save her own stinking rear, she talked.
    Democrats. Its what they do, black stab, cheat and scam. Committee people picked from the vine of despair.

    Hey Kevin L. while you are bible thumping read this one; Matthew 7:16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?
    We need look no further back that some of the local elections in 2017. Democrats and Republicans alike. There is not much difference between them on the local level. All worms.

  10. Saw Joe Spanik at the courthouse for the march for our lives today. He’s supporting D-wan for Commissioner. Wonder what position he’ll get when D-wan gets in. He has also been hanging around Wayne Kress for Sheriff. So it doesn’t matter who gets in, Spanik will have a position in the courthouse somewhere in 2 years. You heard it here first

  11. On The Hill…one wonders will there be a position for Spanik if D-wan is elected, as I am sure D-wan will have family, relatives, neighbors, etc. filling any and all newly created positions. Watch the budget explode, with no “handle” on expenses, my Tarot Cards predict tax increase.

    • From Friends and Family, Inc to Bros and hoes!!!!! Couldn’t resist the softball you gave me Wise Owl. Nothing left in the hood to plunder so move up to county trough. Spanik would make great controller. Couldn’t count his balls twice and get right answer. Dumber than a box of rocks but great race with another loser, Invisible Man Rossi.



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