I've been getting a good amount of reaction today to a story on Dan Onorato's immediate political future, as he faces a decision on whether to run for a third term as county exec in May, despite losing the Democratic enclave of Allegheny County in Tuesday's gubernatorial race.
Much of it the feedback coming from angry Democrats who posit Onorato is in trouble because he's not in step with what they say is the party's traditional base. (Even Onorato ally Rich Fitzgerald admitted to those voices being out there.)
Here is one such email from an experienced Democratic operative in the area:
To use the rhetoric of Pittsburgh's mayor: what I would argue is that the Allegheny vote totals for governor demonstrate that Onorato is vulnerable because many Democrats already regard him as a Republican "Lite", and have abandoned him, and that most Republicans will eagerly back a real Republican when they have the opportunity, and not a Democratic imposter. I believe that many Republican financial backers contributed to Onorato earlier this year to insure that Corbett would face the least formidable opponent in this General Election. Dan trailed Sestak's totals in Allegheny by a significant margin, and Onorato received fewer votes than any losing candidate for statewide office in 2008, and only about half the votes of the winning candidates for either Treasurer, Attorney General, and Auditor General in 2008. Onorato, outside of Sestak's base area--where I would argue there were Sestak/Rendell coattails for Onorato--was only competitive in three counties, Lackawanna (won), Erie (lost) and Allegheny (lost). Next year, a lesser friend of corporate interests, who is still a fiscal conservative, but one who isn't "pro Bork" and an antagonist of women as Catherine Baker Knoll once remarked (only 24% of senior County Managers are women), would be a real threat to Onorato inside the Democratic Party. And Roddey, et al, must be salivating at returning control of Allegheny County government to a real Republican executive who, courtesy of Onorato's "consolidation", will be in a position to finally place consolidated county patronage into Republican hands.
The chickens may be coming home to roost.