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May 16 primaries are coming. Are you ready? | The Homepage

By Marianne Holohan and Jen Frenchek


Blue and white info graphic with a voting box drawing. Title is "Offices, what they do and how to vote." Other text is pulled from the article.
Infographic by Juliet Martinez

An important election is coming up for 15th Ward voters. May 16, 2023 is the official date of the spring primary elections, when voters will choose nominees for a new county executive to replace Rich Fitzgerald, as well as controller, district attorney, treasurer, and county council at large.


District 5 residents will also vote to nominate candidates for the City Council seat that Councilperson Barb Warwick won in November’s special election. She will serve out the rest of Corey O’Connor’s term, which lasts through 2023, and be on the primary ballot, this time seeking the Democratic nomination to serve a four-year term.


The 10 city and county offices in play this year are vital for local decision making. Here is a brief breakdown of their responsibilities:

  • The county executive functions like a mayor for the county, “providing leadership and strategic direction for all aspects of Allegheny County government,” according to the Office of the County Executive webpage.

  • Controller positions in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County both audit government spending and guard against waste, fraud and abuse.

  • The county treasurer collects taxes, runs payrol and monitors the county's funds and investments.

  • County and city council positions help set budget priorities, and introduce and pass laws and resolutions that affect our day-to-day lives. They decide how much the city spends on services like public safety, libraries and infrastructure.

  • The district attorney decides how people in the criminal justice system are treated before being convicted of a crime.

In order to participate in primary elections, voters must register as either a Democrat or Republican. If you did not specify a party when you registered to vote, you must officially change your party affiliation in order to vote in the primary.


Similarly, if your name or address has changed, you will need to update your voter registration before the election. Update your registration by:

  • Visiting www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx

  • Filling out the paper version of the Pennsylvania Voter Registration Application & Mail-in Ballot Request and returning it by mail

  • Going in person to the Allegheny County Elections Division, 542 Forbes Ave., Suite 312

Keep in mind that changes must be made more than 15 days prior to election day, so be sure to update your registration ASAP.


If you have questions about your voter registration status, contact the Allegheny County Elections Division by calling (412) 350-4500. You can also contact your 15th Ward Democratic Committee representatives for additional help or drop us a line at pgh15warddems.com/contact-us/.


Marianne Holohan and Jen Frenchek are members of the 15th Ward Democratic Committee.

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