Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New County Council Member Plans to Seek Complete Term

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New County Council Member Plans to Seek Complete Term

Article excerpt

Krista Harris has had an eventful winter.

The Mt. Lebanon resident and her husband, Mark, are the parents of a 7-week-old daughter named Abigail.

Then last week, she was appointed to Allegheny County Council to replace veteran Republican member Vince Gastgeb. She will serve at least until November and plans to run in a special election to complete Mr. Gastgeb's term.

"I wanted to make my community better, and one of the ways to do that is through elective office," Ms. Harris, 28, said in a phone interview. She said she was inspired to go after a county council seat in part by her participation in the Anne B. Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series. It is a yearlong training program for Republican women who want to seek public office.

Ms. Harris was one of eight candidates who applied for the District 5 seat. She was nominated by council's GOP caucus and confirmed by full council on Tuesday.

No sooner was she approved than she began knocking on doors and meeting voters in District 5, which includes Bethel Park, Bridgeville, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair.

Ms. Harris grew up outside Philadelphia in West Chester. She earned a bachelor's degree from Susquehanna University and a master's in media and public affairs from George Washington University.

She was working full time on Capitol Hill as an executive assistant and scheduler for U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Chester, while she earned her master's degree. "I've been comparing being a new mom to being in graduate school and working," she joked. "You have to operate on limited sleep for a long period of time."

She moved to Mt. Lebanon two years ago. A Republican committeewoman, she serves as vice chairwoman of the community's GOP committee.

She is on maternity leave from her job as an account executive and fundraising director for Cold Spark Media. The political consulting, advertising and communications firm has offices in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. The business was co- founded by her husband, Mark.

Her job with Cold Spark involves exactly what it sounds like. …

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