Democrats Pick Candidate To Run For Jane Orie's Seat

Dr. Sharon Brown will face GOP candidate in Aug. 7 special election.

Dr. Sharon Brown, 59, of McCandless, is the Democratic candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate seat in the 40th district, formerly held by Jane Orie. 

Democratic leaders in Allegheny and Butler Counties voted for Brown, who was the only candidate seeking her party’s endorsement, at a meeting Thursday night at the Cranberry Public Library. She will face a still unknown GOP candidate in the Aug. 7 special election. 

“She’s our candidate, and we will give her our full support,” said Dan McClain, Democratic vice chairman from Ross Township. 

Republicans are expected to select a candidate within a couple of weeks. 

Brown is currently a nursing administrator for the Allegheny County Community College, according to the Project Vote Smart website

Brown also operates a small business that provides consulting services to health and educational programs.

She was also a researcher at the University of California, Irvine. 

She ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2010, losing to Mike Turzai. 

Democrats long thought Dan DeMarco, a Ross commissioner, would be their candidate as he was in 2010 when the corruption charges were first leveled against Orie. 

In a statement to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, DeMarco said he was "incredibly touched by the outpouring of support that I received as I considered a run in the upcoming special election" but thought he could better serve the North Hills as a commissioner and vice chairman of Congress of Neighboring Communities, a suburban intergovernmental cooperation entity.

Orie, 50, was  to serve 2 1/2 to 10 years in prison. An Allegheny County jury convicted her of using state workers to perform political work. 

Among the Republicans said to be considering a run are Orie’s predecessor, Melissa Hart; the party’s 2011 candidate for county controller, Bob Howard of Marshall; Republican Committee of Allegheny County Treasurer Karen Shaheen of McCandless; and Butler County GOP Vice Chair Robin Redding of Cranberry, the Post Gazette reported. 

The 40th District includes Pine, Richland, Marshall, McCandless, West Deer, Shaler, Hampton and Ross townships, as well as West View and Franklin Park boroughs. It also extends north into Butler County and includes Cranberry Township. 

But the 40th District could soon move to the other side of the state.

Under a new legislative map being reviewed by the Legislative Reapportionment Committee, the 40th District would 


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