New candidate to Ken-Arnold school board not eligible to claim seat due to residency issue

One of four candidates who ran unopposed for the New Kensington-Arnold school board will not be able to take the seat, according to the acting Westmoreland County Electoral Officer.

Peter Nkemakolam ran for a school board seat in Region 3 of the district. However, Nkemakolam lives in Region 2, Acting Chief Electoral Officer Greg McCloskey said on Monday. He did not say how the problem came about.

Because he does not meet the district residency requirements, the school board will not be able to swear an oath to Nkemakolam during his reorganization on December 6, McCloskey said.

This will leave the seat vacant for the school board to fill with an appointment. The person appointed would hold the seat until the next local election in 2023, McCloskey said.

Nkemakolam could not be reached for comment.

School board president Tim Beckes referred questions to district attorney Tony Vigilante. Vigilante could not be reached for comment on Monday.

The nine-member New Kensington-Arnold School Board has three representatives from each of the three regions. Four incumbents did not stand for re-election this year: Bob Pallone in Region 1; John DeAntonio in Region 2; and Scott Bussard and Chelsea Stone in Region 3.

The other unopposed candidates for seats are Jane Graham in Region 1, Nick DiCarolis in Region 2 and Sarah Yurga in Region 3. All, including Nkemakolam, have been crossed as Democrats and Republicans.

In Region 3, Yurga received 894 votes, while Nkemakolam received 636, according to unofficial results.

McCloskey said the county elections were unaware of any issues regarding the other candidates.

The Nov. 2 election results will be pre-certified on Wednesday, with final certification starting Nov. 22, McCloskey said.

The remaining members of the New Kensington-Arnold School Board whose seats are up for election in 2023 are Eric Doutt and Terry Schrock in Region 1; Steven Sorch and Beckes in Region 2; and John Cope in Region 3.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .


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