Rich Fitzgerald, president of county council, showcased an array of Democratic officeholders and union supporters as he formally announced his candidacy for Allegheny County executive.
The Squirrel Hill resident, flanked by his wife, Cathy, and their eight children, said he would work to make Pittsburgh “the energy capital of the world,’’ if chosen to succeed Dan Onorato, who declined to seek a third term in the county’s top position. Mr. Fitzgerald spoke in the courtyard of the County Courthouse, the same spot where county Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty launched his bid for the Democratic nomination earlier this month.
The two Democrats are expected to have their first face-off in the competition for the party committee members’ endorsement for executive.
The year’s first campaign finance reports are due to be filed on Monday. The Flaherty campaign said it would report cash on hand of roughly $500,000. Mr. Fitzgerald said he would report receipts of between $750,000 and $800,000. The business owner said a big chunk of his campaign cash, some $500,000, would come from his own pocket in the form of a loan to his campaign committee.
The crowd that applauded Mr. Fitzgerald’s announcement included Rep. Mike Doyle; state Sens. Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana, state Rep. Dan Frankel, city Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, and Councilmen Doug Shields and Bill Peduto as well as dozens of local Democratic Party officials. Mr. Fitzgerald said he anticipated broad support form organized labor. During his remarks, he announced endorsements from nine union locals, including IBEW, local 5; the Laborers District Council of Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsbrugh Firefighters, and USW loal 10.