Friday, December 30, 2005

Wagner to challenge Diven

'I put my constituents first,' said Diven, a former Pittsburgh city councilman. 'I feel at the end of day, the people will see past politics and elect the person who stands up for them.'
Sadly, the people of the district elected a Democrat. But, they got a Republican just a month after the election.
Furthermore, I'm looking for someone to serve the constitution first. I don't need a bring-the-pork-home guy or gal in Harrisburg.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wagner to challenge Diven

Michael Cristiano
Staff Writer
Thursday, December 22, 2005

Chelsa Wagner announced her intention to unseat incumbent state Rep. Michael Diven (R-22) in the next election.

Wagner, 28, of Beechview said her reason for throwing her hat in the ring is because of a lack of leadership she alleges in her legislative district as well as the number of female representatives in the South Hills -- none.

"Diven makes empty promises," said Wagner, a Democrat. "I want to see the people's house more representative of those it intends to serve."

Wagner said she would bring a fresh point of view to the position on issues ranging from health care to education.

"We've never had a democratic female from Allegheny County in the house or the senate," Wagner said.

Wagner is currently an attorney with the Homyak Law Firm Pittsburgh which specializes in medical malpractice and workers' compensation.

She holds a degree in public policy studies from University of Chicago and a law degree from University of Pittsburgh.

She is the niece of former state Senator of the 42nd district, now Auditor General, Jack Wagner and daughter of democratic committee chairman of the city's 18th ward Pete Wagner. Her parents and uncle didn't want her to run for Diven's seat.

Diven disagrees with Wagner's assessment of his leadership.

"My constituents wanted an independent voice in Harrisburg and I've stood up to leadership," said Diven. "I've also secured state resources for grants and local programs."

Diven, 35, a Democrat turned Republican from Brookline, has represented his district since 2001.

"I was forced out of the democratic party because I wanted to bring accountability on backroom deals such as our closed ballot system for party candidates," said Diven. "People like Pete Wagner, Tom Flaherty, Bill Deweese and Mike Veon want to keep it closed."

He said Allegheny County is one of three counties in the state that favor a closed ballot system.

Diven maintains he's been successful in spearheading pieces of legislation for his constituents. He said he refused to take a pay raise in the form of unvouchered expenses, and he cosponsored the bill to repeal the raises for the state general assembly.

"I put my constituents first," said Diven, a former Pittsburgh city councilman. "I feel at the end of day, the people will see past politics and elect the person who stands up for them."

Diven, a Duquesne graduate with a degree in history ran for the senate seat vacated by Jack Wagner against former Allegheny County councilman Wayne Fontana -- who defeated Diven for the Senate position in May.

District 22 includes South Hills communities such as Baldwin, Castle Shannon and Whitehall boroughs -- all predominantly democratic communities.