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State Senate Race Pits Incumbent Against Indiana Restaurateur

Democratic Senatorial Candidate Tony DeLoreto (left) is campaigning vigorously against incumbent Senator Don White. DeLoreto appeared on Family-Life TV’s Talk of the Town on October 4 to discuss the philosophical differences between the two parties.

Democratic Senatorial Candidate Tony DeLoreto (left) is campaigning vigorously against incumbent Senator Don White. DeLoreto appeared on Family-Life TV’s Talk of the Town on October 4 to discuss the philosophical differences between the two parties.

by Jonathan Weaver

For the first time in 16 years, Armstrong and Indiana Counties might have a new State Senator.

While incumbent Republican Don White aims to retain his seat for a fifth term, Democratic restaurant owner Tony DeLoreto hopes to bring change to the 41st District.

“I’m just tired of the way things are going and I think we desperately need a change. I want to go in there and make a difference,” DeLoreto said.

DeLoreto, 55, hopes to bring change with new philosophies on job creation, property taxes and term limits.

“I believe nothing’s ever going to change until we have a rotation in government. Our fore fathers never intended being a politician to be a career opportunity. They relied on their own integrity, DeLoreto said.

“My mother (Diane) said ‘Anthony, don’t make any promises you can’t keep,’” DeLoreto added. “I have an uphill battle, but if I’m fortunate enough to win, I won’t run for more than two terms. I’m a strong believer in a rotation in government with term limits because I think that’s part of our problem – everybody gets entrenched and become concerned wit

h nothing else but getting re-elected.”

DeLorto actually was inspired to run for public office after a post-election party at his restaurant – Spaghetti Benders, in Indiana – this time last year.

“At this time last year, there wasn’t an inkling in my mind that I’d be running for State Senator,” he admitted.

But still, DeLoreto almost backed out of the race until he recalled his biggest regret: quitting football midway through high school.

“I still regret that to this day. What prompted me to run for office was I don’t want to look back and say ‘Why didn’t I do that?’ How can you help if you don’t try?,” DeLoreto said. “It was fear of regret more than anything else.”

DeLoreto said his working-class background differs from incumbent Senator Don White – his Republican challenger next month.

“I think Harrisburg needs more people with a business background,” DeLoreto said. “I don’t think enough elected officials understand numbers enough. You can’t just tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend. You have to know where the dollars are coming from and know where they’re going

Tony attended Bethel Park High School in Pittsburgh after moving from Boston in ninth grade and went on to receive a degree in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1988 after serving in the active reserves of the U.S. Navy –stationed in South Carolina – for two years.

“Being with the military gives you a lot of pride,” DeLoreto said.

DeLoreto actually spent the first two years of his collegiate career at the IUP branch campus in Kittanning.

“I had a lot of fun – lot of memories,” DeLoreto said. “It was the only school I applied to, and I didn’t even apply to IUP. I applied to Kittanning because I had a lot of friends that were going here at the time.”

He and his wife, Cherry, now own the restaurant together and will celebrate the restaurant’s 25th anniversary next week.

Like DeLoreto, Senator White stated promoting job growth, fighting the current war on drugs in the region and providing property tax relief remain primary goals.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of the 41st District. While I am pleased with my accomplishments in the state Senate, these are difficult times for our region economically and there is much more to do. I am committed to moving Pennsylvania forward and continuing the effort to make our communities better places to live, work and raise families.”

The 41st District includes all of Armstrong and Indiana counties and parts of Butler and Westmoreland counties.