Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fitzgerald announcing county executive bid Friday

Fitzgerald announcing county executive bid Friday

County Council President Rich Fitzgerald will declare his candidacy for county executive Friday morning at event where he will showcase an endorsement from Rep. Mike Doyle.

The widely anticipated announcement will take place in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse, the same spot where Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty, so far the only declared candidate for the post, unveiled his bid earlier this month. So far, they are the only competitors for the Democratic nomination to succeed the incumbent, Dan Onorato, who has announced that he will not seek a third term.

On council, Mr. Fitzgerald was known as a close ally of the Onorato administration. He has made no secret of his interest in the county's top post, quietly laying the foundation for a bid over the last year while Mr. Onorato pursued his unsuccessful quest to be elected governor.

On the Republican side, county Councilman Matt Drozd has said that he is exploring a bid. Patti Weaver, a key organizer of the region's Tea Party movement has also acknowledged interest in the office. Many Republican committee members received an email last weekend advising them that Ms. Weaver would make an announcement earlier this week, but that event was subsequently canceled. Jim Roddey, the county GOP chairman, said he expects Ms. Weaver to announce her candidacy late next week. Ms. Weaver did not return a call seeking clarification or her plans.

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