My phone rings off the hook, here are some random things from my journalist’s notebook!
State Troopers Back Kress Over Guy
Lodge 47 of the Fraternal Order of Police, representing over 500 active and retired members of the Pennsylvania State Police in southwestern PA, endorsed Wayne Kress for Beaver County Sheriff last week.
The union was apparently itching to issue its endorsement, with their letter coming out before candidates’ nominating petitions to appear on the ballot are even due to be submitted.
The endorsement will be the only one issued by the lodge for Beaver County sheriff this election year and is meant to cover both the primary and general elections.
Kress is expected to face off against George David in the Democratic primary election. The winner of that race will run opposite Sheriff Tony Guy in the general, who is expected to be unopposed in the Republican primary.
Tony Guy had touted his endorsement by this same lodge when he ran against Kress for sheriff the first time four years ago, but since then Guy’s management of the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office has apparently soured its opinion of him.
Spring Has Sprung? First Georgie Yard Sign Blooms
The above dark, blurry, pixelated image that looks like it should be of a UFO or Big Foot sighting, is actually evidence of the very first George David for Sheriff yard sign to bloom this season.
The image was submitted to us last week, depicting the property of Bobby Williams on Old Brodhead Road in Center Township.
If you ever wondered how BeaverCountian.com manages to keep on top of political happenings so well, I’m about to let you in on a major secret of our tradecraft: Very little actually changes in Beaver County and we are often able to just copy/paste old articles and publish them as new stories.
Here’s from our coverage of the sheriff’s race back in 2015:
Campaign signs supporting George David for Sheriff … litter the home of Bobby Williams on Old Brodhead Road in Center Township.
Bobby Williams was convicted of perjury under the election code in March of last year after an investigative report by the Beaver Countian revealed he had lied about where he lives when filling out paperwork to run for Aliquippa City Council. Williams had conspired with George David to run for a seat on Aliquippa’s Council even though he is a resident of Center Township. The Beaver Countian’s investigation revealed the address he claimed to be living at in Aliquippa was in fact an uninhabitable, dilapidated old abandoned building.
After refusing to accept a plea agreement offered by prosecutors that would have seen him serve a period of probation, Williams was subsequently convicted at trial. Beaver County Judge Harry Knafelc ruled that Williams would face no punishment as a result of his conviction — no confinement, no probation, no fine. Williams had faced a possibility of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Not everyone follows government as closely as we do, and I think it’s important we use our institutional memory to help educate voters.
Here’s another example of how we at BeaverCountian.com can recycle content from the past into relevant and timely news. This time from our coverage of the 2013 election for state representative:
“I’ve been getting text messages and phone calls all weekend,” said Bobby Williams. “They were calling me a racist, and said that my wife is a racist too!”
That is a quote from an article we published in 2013 titled, “Editorial: No, Not THIS Bobby Williams – The OTHER Bobby Williams.”
At the time, Bobby Williams of Hopewell Township was the Democratic candidate for state representative who was running against then incumbent Jim Christiana. Voters were confusing Bobby Williams of Hopewell with Bobby Williams of Center causing him (the Hopewell Bobby Williams) all sorts of interesting problems.
This time around, Bobby Williams of Hopewell is running for Beaver County Recorder of Deeds while the Bobby Williams of Center is out and about acting as a de facto campaign staffer for George David’s sheriff run.
Although I was able to recycle a lot of content for this week’s edition of my notebook, it was still important I got my hands on the new photo I published above. Here’s what (Center) Bobby Williams’ house looked like back in 2015 (apparently someone’s slacking this year):
AKA Jesus’ Disciple For County Controller
Republican candidate for county controller Sarah Pannell has found a prominent name to help bolster her political campaign… Jesus.
A campaign card being handed out by Pannell lists an alternative moniker of “Jesus’ Disciple” and provides an email address of “TellMeTheStoryOfJesus@Gmail.com.”
The card also features a number with a 662 area code (serving northern Mississippi). Originally from the south, Pannell has a notable southern accent.
A couple of cynical politicos had suggested to me that perhaps Pannell had devised a Jesus Gmail account for purely political purposes, but I quickly found she has been using it for years. Back in 2017, Pannell’s “Tell Me The Story Of Jesus” email was used to help gather together items for care packages to send to troops stationed overseas.
Pennell is expected to face off against Maria Longo in the Republican primary for controller. Longo previously ran a company that operates a cafeteria in the Beaver County Courthouse.
Controller David Rossi is expected to face off against challenger Candice McMunn of Beaver in the Democratic primary.
Here’s an interesting random fact: McMunn is Vice President of Faith Restorations, a group that offers spiritual support, runs a food pantry, and provides home repairs for families that include an active military member or veteran.