Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Two Seek Gop Nod for County Council

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Two Seek Gop Nod for County Council

Article excerpt

They may not have spent much time in the big chair yet, but don't call the two Republican candidates for Allegheny County Council's District 5 seat political newcomers.

Incumbent Krista Harris, 28, served as an aide to U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Chester, and currently coaches political candidates on fundraising. Sue Means, 61, helped push through Pennsylvania's home- schooling law and previously ran for the state House and Senate.

They say they share the common goal of making Allegheny County more attractive to businesses and reforming the tax code.

"We need to grow the area," Ms. Harris said. "I think when you're looking at the reassessments, looking at the nonprofit status, I think it needs to be fair across the board."

Ms. Harris was appointed earlier this year to fill the council seat of departing Republican Vince Gastgeb. She's running for the Republican nomination in the May 21 primary for the seat representing Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park and Bridgeville.

The youngest member on council, she says she has already learned much from her few months on council.

Campaigning for herself rather than for another politician has proved an interesting change of pace, she said.

"There's a lot more responsibility and I take it very seriously," she said. "I actually am making an impact and I have an ability to do that, rather than knocking on doors for other candidates."

Originally from outside Philadelphia, Ms. Harris graduated from Susquehanna University and earned a master's degree in media and public affairs from George Washington University.

While attending graduate school, she was a full time executive assistant and scheduler for Mr. Gerlach, her hometown representative. She also managed the 2006 re-election campaign of then-state Sen. Rob Wonderling, whose district covered a swath of Philadelphia suburbs.

Now the fundraising director for Cold Spark Media, a Pittsburgh- based political consulting firm founded by her husband, she's entering her third year as a Mt. …

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