Former county Councilman Chuck McCullough will not be running for district attorney.
D. Raja soundly defeated the Upper St.Clair lawyer in his bid for the GOP nomination for county executive. But in a footnote to the May 17 primary, a group of conservative activists had instigated an email campaign to try to convince Republican voters to write his name in for district attorney, an office that no Republican had filed for. There was no evidence that Mr. McCullough was behind the effort, or even informed of it in advance, but the possibility was intriguing in light of the fact that the prosecutor’s spot drew more than four times as many write-ins as any other line on the GOP ballot. Mr. McCullough could not be reached for comment.
Mark Wolosik, the county elections chief, said that the unofficial count of write-ins found that Mr. McCullough gains 103 votes for district attorney, leaving him well short of the minimum of 500 that would have been needed to secure a post on the ballot. Mr. Zapata, unopposed for the Democratic nomination for district attorney, came in first among the GOP write-ins as well, with 296, a total that was still well short of the threshold he would have needed to gain that nomination as well.
A Zappala-McCullough race would have presented the unique story line of a defendant running against the figure prosecuting him. Mr. McCullough faces trial this fall on charges that he used the funds of an elderly client to make a series of political contributions without her knowledge. Mr. McCullough has said that the client, since deceased, was aware of the contributions.
Among the many other figures that drew votes in the GOP DA contest were Tommy Chong, Cyril Wecht, Sidney Crosby, Hamilton Burger, and Mickey Mouse.