The next few days could clarify the murky Republican picture on the race to succeed county Executive Dan Onorato.
So far, no one has declared for the nomination, but three potential candidates _ each surprising in different ways _ are reported to be considering the race.
Perhaps most startling is the possibility that county Councilman Chuck McCullough could flout his criminal court indictment by running for the GOP nomination for the county’s top job. Patricia Weaver, a key figure in the region’s Tea Party movement is also believed to be eyeing the seat along with county Councilman Matt Drozd. Ms. Weaver declined to comment on the report Tuesday, saying she would have some sort of announcement Wednesday. Mr. Drozd said he would make up his mind on the race by the end of the week.
Mr. McCullough, who could not be reached for comment, has told several senior GOP figures that he is considering the race, despite his looming trial on charges that he took money from an elderly client and used it to make a variety of political and charitable donations without her knowledge. His oft-delayed trial is now scheduled for the spring. Mr. McCullough, 54, of Upper St. Clair, is charged with using funds of a client, Shirley H. Jordan, to make donations to political allies and family members.
Mr. McCullough has won in the shadow of the charges before. The investigation of the case had already been made public when Mr. McCullough won his current at-large seat on council. Heather Heidelbaugh, a Republican lawyer, has already announced that she would run for the at-large seat.County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty will announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to succeed Mr. Onorato today. Rich Fitzgerald, the Democratic president of county council, and Michael Lamb, the city of Pittsburgh controller, are also mulling a run.