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May 22, 2013

Split decision: Each group has two winners on City Council

JOHNSTOWN — Democratic Party voters offered a split decision between the two groups of Johnstown City Council candidates that campaigned against each other in this year’s primary.

Pete Vizza and Dave Vitovich, who ran on the same ticket, ended Tuesday in first and third place, respectively, with 14.4 and 12.6 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results on the Cambria County election website. Vizza received 818 votes.

Marie Mock and Nunzio Johncola, both members of a group billed as Team Johnstown, finished in second and fourth. Mock gained 14.2 percent. Johncola collected 12.5.

“It’s what the voters wanted,” said Vitovich. “Hopefully, they thought we’d be the best candidates and that’s why we got the most votes.”

Only the top four vote-getters earned a spot on the general election ballot.

In the mayor’s race, Frank Janakovic, a member of Team Johnstown, garnered 83.7 percent against his opponent, the late Dr. Anthony Gergely.

Vitovich and Vizza teamed with Charles DiFalco, whose 10.8 percent left him in sixth place, ahead of Team Johnstown member Anthony “Red” Pinizzotto (9.7), Jack Williams (7.9) and Ian Miller (5.2).

“I’m happy for the team that we put together,” Vizza said.

Vizza was one of two incumbents to advance to the general election, along with Mock.

Rose Howarth, a first-term councilwoman, just missed the cutoff by coming in fifth.

“We’re going to be at a loss without her on council. ... She’s going to be missed,” said Mock.

Janakovic said his team has some concerns about the results.

He heard an unofficial report that a voting machine at East Side Elementary School malfunctioned during the day. There was also at least a half-hour delay between when results from the next-to-last and final precincts were displayed at the Cambria County election website.

Cambria County Election Office Director Shirley Crowl had not heard any reports of a malfunctioning voting machine in Johnstown.

“We’d like to pursue this with the county and see if there was anything with the machine that went down,” Janakovic said.

No Republicans were on the ballot for City Council or mayor. However, there were 114 write-in votes on the GOP mayor’s ballot and 361 for City Council. It is not known yet if any Republican received enough write-in votes to earn a spot in the general election.

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