Today Northsiders took a side trip from their daily routine to vote in the local primary contests in the area. At stake were the Mayoral party primaries, as well as judges, magistrates and District 6 on City Council.

Several of the candidates, including Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and local magisterial candidate Jackie Hoffman, have introduce write-in campaigns or registered with both parties.

As it is in most single party cities, rather than having their sights set on the November general election, Pittsburgh politicians are have geared up for what amounts to the culmination of the 2009 city council and district judge races.

The most watched race on the Northside has District 6 incumbent Tonya Payne, of Uptown, vying with fellow Democrats Robert Daniel Lavelle, of the Hill District, and Mark Brentley, Sr., of Allegheny West, to retain her seat on city council.

 Like Tonya Payne, Lavelle was a former aide to Sala Udin and is currently chief of staff to State Rep. Jake Wheatley.

Brentley, a city school board member for 10 years, wants District 6 constituents to clear their heads of the Udin/Payne feud and stop focusing so much on the Hill District.

In the race for magisterial district court 2-40, seven candidates are running for the five-year position. The court covers wards 21 through 25, which comprise the southern most Northside neighborhoods.

With a number of candidates vying for the position the election offers the voter many different choices. The candidates are Dean A. Birdy (D), Jackie Lynn Hoffman (who cross-filed as both Democrat and Republican), Caryn S. Lenz (D), Karen McLellan (D), Derwin Rushing (D), Daniel A. Styche (D) and Mark A. Villasenor (D).

Although the final day to register to vote was April 20, concerned voters can use the website www.votespa.com to find voting locations or call Mark Wolosik, the elections division manager, at (412) 350 – 4500 for more information.

For news on primary results and stories, log on the day after to www.thenorthsidechronicle for more information.