Curtis Antoniak, a recently retired Teamster with the City of Jeannette, Pa.’s Public Works Department, won an election for Mayor in the a small Pennsylvania city roughly 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
“The Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters supports and encourages its members to seek local office, and I’m really proud of Brother Curtis Antoniak and everyone on his campaign for scoring such a resounding victory,” said William Hamilton, Eastern Region Vice President and Principal Officer of the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters. “What’s been done here in Jeannette can serve as a model for not just the rest of the state, but the entire region. When Teamster members get involved in politics, we can fight and we can win.”
Antoniak, a Teamsters Local 30 member with 32 years of service and 14 years as a shop steward, beat the one-term incumbent Richard Jacobelli with a margin of 74-26 percent. In addition to his service as a Teamster member, Antoniak has been involved in his community for years coaching baseball, and the market in Jeannette that his grandparents started has been in business since the 1920s.
Jacobelli ran on a platform of renegotiating agreements with the Jeannette’s largely union workforce, and Antoniak decided to get involved in the Mayoral race after Jacobelli unveiled plans to outsource the city’s sanitation operations. The plan could potentially have resulted in lay-offs for the six workers, in spite of the department having a profitable year in 2016.
Antoniak learned of the results late last night at a party with over 200 supporters at a local American Legion hall, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. This is the first time Antoniak has run for public office.
“I love our town, I’m very humbled with the results of the election,” Antoniak said. “I really feel that I can work well with the people on council. I am not on any agenda. I will listen.”