As the GOP casts around for a contender to succeed County Executive Dan Onorato, some party officials are looking to a non-traditional corner of local politics. Several senior Republicans are trying to convince Patricia Weaver, one of the key organizers of the region’s Tea Party movement, to enter the contest for the county’s top job. In one sense, it would be a surprising switch for the Fox Chapel woman, who holds an MBA from Harvard University. In her activism with the Tea Party, she has concentrated on federal issues. But here as across the country, the Tea Party movement has been credited with much of the political energy that fueled Republican gains in the November election. Ms. Weaver did not immediately return a call for comment on her potential political ambitions.
Several Democrats have already indicated their interest in the race. County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty plans to make a formal announcment of his candidacy this week. City of Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb and county Council President Rich Fitzgerald have said that they are also considering bids. So far, no Republican hats have been tossed into this ring.