Just under the wire, the Dems have found a candidate willing to battle in the 40th Senatorial District.
Senate Democratic Campaign Committee executive director Aren Platt said this afternoon that Sharon Brown, 59, of Wexford, has thrown her name in the ring.
Democratic committee members are supposed to vote Thursday night to officially select their candidate, but as of yesterday afternoon, had not offered any potential names.
The state Senate contest would be her second political campaign: Brown ran against now-House Majority Leader Mike Turzai of Bradford Woods in the 2010 general election (he was Republican whip at that time).
Turzai won that contest overwhelmingly, 77 percent to 23 percent.
According to Platt, her resume includes working as a nursing administrator at the Community College of Allegheny County, and she holds a PhD in public health & epidemiology. She also is a member of Democratic State Committee.
"She's going to elevate the level of discourse in this race," Platt said. "She has the full support of the Senate Democrats."
UPDATE: For weeks it was assumed Orie's 2010 opponent, Ross commissioner Dan Demarco, would be the Democratic nominee. He explained his decision to opt out in the statement below:
"I wish to extend my thanks again to the voters of the 40th Senate District for the opportunity they gave me in 2010 to run for this seat. I am still very proud of the strong campaign that we ran that year with so many dedicated volunteers from every corner of the district. In recent days, I have been incredibly touched by the outpouring of support that I received as I considered a run in the upcoming special election. It is with mixed emotions that I announce today that I will not be seeking the Party's nomination in this race. While I will certainly miss being on the campaign trail again in Butler and Allegheny Counties, as Ross Township Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT), I believe I can have greatest impact in the North Hills by continuing to advocate for greater intergovernmental cooperation that not only saves money for taxpayers, but efficiently solves our region's problems, like water and sewer issues, emergency services, neighborhood blight, and public transit. Furthermore, I am pleased to support the nomination of Sharon Brown of McCandless as the Democratic Party candidate for the 40th Senate District."