If the rest of the Allegheny County executive campaign is anything like her first, Patti Weaver should be a pretty impressive candidate.
The lead organizer of the Pittsburgh Tea Party did a number of smart things at her campaign kickoff today at the City-County Building: her event was started with remarks from a Democratic electrician (and fellow Tea Party member), which underlined how her message will need to cross party lines in a county with a 2:1 Democratic registration edge. He was followed to the podium by Jim Roddey, the Republican chairman and former exec, which shows she's ready to work with the GOP establishment, rather than against it. (Why is that an issue? Look at the revolt happening among House Republican ranks in DC.) Weaver came up last and looked poised, as she talked about her educational and business experience, her outreach to Democrats, and her focus on budget-tightening and the regional economy.
There was one last thing. Weaver has tapped Stephanie Miller as her campaign manager, the same role Miller played for Keith Rothfus in his nearly-successful challenge of Jason Altmire last year.
Why is that big? Look at the top part of Allegheny County's vote for Tom Corbett in November, which was mapped out by the Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System (below). Many of the northernmost suburbs -- all of them red -- cross over with the 4th Congressional District, and Miller should have a big step up in bringing those votes home for Weaver in both the May primary (when Weaver, of Fox Chapel, may face Mt. Lebanon commissioner D. Raja) and the general election.
It doesn't hurt, either, that the North Hills are the stomping grounds of the local Tea Party.