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Brady Paul Memorial Lodge #54 of the Fraternal Order of Police announced their endorsements last night after holding private meetings with Kress and Knafelc to discuss issues facing law enforcement in the region.
Among the troopers represented by the lodge are ones currently engaged in ongoing investigations into allegations of public corruption in Beaver County.
Its endorsements are meant to cover both the primary and general elections.
This makes the second police union to come out this year against incumbent Sheriff Tony Guy who was elected in 2015 as part of a Republican ticket which had, along with District Attorney David Lozier, promised to restore confidence in county government.
Guy had been endorsed by Lodge #54 when he first ran for sheriff in 2015, support he touted at the time during speeches on the campaign trail and in mailers sent out to voters. Guy’s subsequent decisions in office caused troopers to lose confidence in his leadership.
State police have repeatedly clashed with Lozier on some of the most high profile investigations the county has seen during his tenure, including ones involving Treasurer Connie Javens, the Aliquippa Police Department, and the murder of Rachael DelTondo.
Knafelc is running unopposed in the Democratic primary and will face off against Lozier in the general election this fall. Kress is running against former sheriff George David in the Democratic primary (David was defeated by Kress in the 2015 primary); the winner of that race will face Guy who is running unopposed in the Republican primary.
Along with Knafelc and Kress, also endorsed last night was Laura Tocci for Common Pleas Judge.
Tocci is running against Steven Necaster, who currently serves as an assistant district attorney under Lozier. Tocci and Necaster are both “cross-filed,” meaning they each will appear on the Republican and Democratic primary ballots.