The head of the Allegheny County Republican Party believes the momentum the G-O-P generated in the November elections for governor and U.S. Senate can continue into 2011 and the race for Allegheny County Executive.
Republican Committee Chairman Jim Roddey says the volunteers are still energized "and as long as we present them with good candidates and we raise enough money to fund them properly, we'll have a lot of momentum going into this coming year."
Dan Onorato, who lost the gubernatorial race to Republican Tom Corbett 54.5% to 45.5%, has not decided whether to seek a third, and what would be final term under the County Home Rule Charter. Onorato failed to win Allegheny County in the governor's race despite a large Democratic voter registration edge.
"Conventional wisdom is that Dan is somewhat damaged now," says Roddey. He lost his own county, he lost the election by a fairly large margin and he would be the better candidate to run against for Republicans. I don't buy that."
Roddey says Onorato is a smart campaigner..."He's been able to raise a lot of money and he is the incumbent. So, I think that he would be the odds on favorite regardless of who was running."
Still, Roddey says from what he's hearing, he doesn't think Onorato will run for a third term. Roddey has been recruiting potential Republican candidates for county executive who can appeal to independents and Democrats...
"Someone that really talks about the right issues, getting the county on track fiscally and someone who is willing to work really hard. Running for county executive is a hard job."
Roddey should know. He was the first Allegheny County Executive form 2000-04 following adoption of the Home Rule Charter.
Roddey believes a successful candidate will have to raise at least $2 million. He expects the first candidates to declare this week or next.