Acting office holder and coach compete in rookie campaigns for Westmoreland Courts Clerk

October 24 – Megan Loughner was on a different career path in 2010 when she went to work for Bryan Kline, the newly elected Westmoreland County Court Clerk.

Loughner was 24 and wanted to work as an intelligence officer. She was awaiting a final job offer at the US Department of Justice and was planning to spend a short stint as director of Kline’s tax office.

Funding problems led to the elimination of his planned federal job. She remained in the county government and was promoted to Kline’s first deputy in 2016. This year, she became the acting county clerk when Kline resigned to become the county jail director.

“I have a passion to serve my community,” Loughner said. “I’ve been in this office for a decade and I love helping the public get the restitution they deserve.”

The Republican of Unity, 36, is running for her first elected post – a four-year term as court clerk, heading the office that oversees criminal court cases and collects fines and compensation for victims of crime.

Democrat Muzzy Colosimo, who is known more for his work on the grill than in politics, is also seeking the job.

Colosimo, 70, from Hempfield worked throughout Westmoreland County as a high school football coach. He is a coach and athletic director at Valley High School in New Kensington after a long tenure as head coach at Greensburg Central Catholic and stopped at Franklin Regional and Hempfield Area high schools.

“I’ve done a lot of things to help kids throughout my career,” Colosimo said. “I look at it differently, like I did when I first became a coach. I’m looking to see what I can do for adults.”

Colosimo has said he will retire as a coach at the end of the football season and as a sports director at the end of the school year.

Politics and the elective mandate would be a new beginning for both candidates.

Colosimo said his experience as a coach and administrator would come in handy in managing the courthouse office with 20 employees. He said his goal would be to increase the recovery of court costs and compensation for victims and improve the transparency of the office’s operations.

“I never want to retire. I love working. I asked around the courthouse and that job (court clerk) seemed like a big challenge,” Colosimo said. “Football coach and court clerk are both administrative positions.”

Loughner won a contested Republican primary in May to stage the race with Colosimo. She said she got the job done and is able to improve office functions.

The collections reached record numbers during his short stint as interim office holder. In March, the office raised more than $ 800,000, the most ever in a single month. For the year, the office is expected to bring in over $ 7 million, she said.

Loughner is committed to expanding collection programs and continuing monitoring in the state’s new Westmoreland County digital filing system for criminal court records.

“When I was 24, if you had asked me if I would ever run for a county office, I would have said, ‘No way,'” Loughner said. “I was disappointed that I didn’t get the job at the Department of Justice, but I was working at the courthouse and I liked it. I’m glad things turned out that way.”

Rich Cholodofsky is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter.

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