Officially launching his GOV bid on 10/6, Allegheny Co. Exec. Dan Onorato (D) “will join a crowded race of at least five” Dems “with varying claims to the regional and ideological bases of the party.” Onorato “starts out with significant assets in the race: name recognition in one of the” state’s Dem “strongholds, demonstrated” fundraising “prowess and the ability to portray himself as an” exec. “who presided over a regional economy rebounding from long-term distress.” But among his Dem “rivals are candidates who will compete with him for each of those potential strengths.”
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By 10/6, Aud. Jack Wagner (D) “will be the only presumed candidate yet to make an official announcement, but has said repeatedly that he intends to enter the race.” Wagner “shares not just a geographical base with” Onorato, “but positions on social issues on the conservative side” of the Dem spectrum. “Both are pro-life and generally oppose tighter restrictions on firearms” (O’Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/5).
Onorato issued a statement on 10/2 about his announcement. Onorato: “I have been preparing for this announcement for some time now: from my nearly two decades of experience in elected office to my conversations with Pennsylvanians from across our Commonwealth over the last two years. I decided to run for Governor because Pennsylvanians need real change. Wall Street’s economic crisis has crippled Main Street. Too many families are struggling to make ends meet as industries collapse and jobs disappear. Students are forced to find affordable education elsewhere and choose not to return. And amidst these challenging times, our leaders in Harrisburg are focused on petty partisanship rather than finding innovative solutions to Pennsylvania’s problems” (McNulty, “Early Returns,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/2).
With Onorato kicking off his GOV bid in Philly, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes: “Talk about a Steel City snub.” Onorato, by not making the announcement “from his North Side neighborhood, from which he first emerged from political obscurity by winning a seat on Pittsburgh City Council,” or the Allegheny Co. Courthouse, where he “has worked for years,” nor “anywhere within a five-hour drive of his Western Pennsylvania political base,” won’t be “courting the hometown crowd until” later on 10/6, “when he makes an appearance at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers hall on the South Side.”
“Forgetting your roots is one sure way to alienate your political base, which is about as far from Philly as you can get,” and when it comes time for Wagner to declare his bid, “we bet he doesn’t stray far from his Beechview beginnings” (10/4).
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