Five candidates move on in Windber council race; Thomas wins GOP nod for mayor
Windber voters will have a crowded field in the November general election as five candidates received party nominations.
As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, unofficial results showed Pino Gallina, John Holden and Ron Mash Jr. as the three Democratic nominees. Two Windber residents ran for the Republican nomination, so both Mark Portante and Gloria Sullivan will appear on the ballot. The third Republican nomination may be filled with a write-in vote.
Gallina, 32, received the most votes with 255.
“I’m humbled and very honored that I got the most votes throughout the borough and whatnot,” he said. “It’s good news and I look forward to the election in November and being on the ballot and getting positive results then.”
Gallina said that he hopes to work well with the other council members if he’s elected.
“The way people usually do this if they run for office is to bring up the issues and fight. I want to continue working together, if elected, with the other council members and move forward as Windber has in the last few years,” he said.
“I’m thankful of everyone who came out and voted and I look forward to the election in November to go at it again.”
Mash, 40, was the next highest vote-getter with 244.
“It’s a good feeling and I’m glad the people voted out there,” he said. “It shows they had confidence in what we’ve done in the last couple years.”
Mash added that the current council members work well together.
“We’re able to talk it out as adults,” he said. “In the end, it’s not personal. Once the meeting’s over — once the gavel hits, it’s not personal and we go about our daily lives.”
Holden, 58, edged out current council member Pete LaMonaca by 11 votes. Holden received 210 while LaMonaca received 199.
“I’m pretty excited and I’m glad that Pino (Gallina) made it,” he said. “Having someone young on council or in the election to run is great. We need some more young people to get involved in the community.
“I’m excited for my third term and to continue what we’ve been doing for the past eight years. The borough has come a long way and I look forward to continuing that.”
On the Republican ballot, Gloria Sullivan received the most votes with 143, while Mark Portante received 121. There were 70 write-in votes.
Sullivan could not be reached for comment by deadline Tuesday night.
Portante, 66, said he felt good and said there were good candidates on the ballot.
Windber mayor’s race
In the Windber mayoral race, Mike Thomas, 65, received the most votes with 166 on the Republican ballot. Portante received 38 votes. The Democratic ballot had no candidates.
Thomas said Tuesday night that he was happy that Windber’s residents kept him on the ballot.
“I hope to keep doing a good job for them,” he said.
Thomas took over as mayor after former Mayor Scott Penrod moved out of the borough.
“I’d like to be able to finish the projects we’ve got going on,” Thomas said.
This year, the council passed two ordinances requiring landlords and tenants to be registered with the borough.
“I’d like to keep working on getting the landlord/tenant thing with residents getting registered and get that going,” he said. “We want to keep that and attract new businesses to town. That’s one of the best ways to keep the tax base growing and keep downtown booming.”
In the future, Thomas wants to learn more about the borough offices.
“I’ve been going to the borough association meetings and now I’m going to the PSAB (Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs) next month to learn more about the borough and to get a better handle on the challenges ahead,” he said.