Corey O'Connor's District 5 city council bid has a lot going for it. No incumbent. A huge warchest (filled just before new city campaign finance rules took effect in 2009). Experience working for US Rep Mike Doyle. Big-time endorsements. And of course the looks and easy manner of his father Bob, the late mayor.
So how can Chris Zurawsky possibly beat him May 17? The lobbyist and former newspaper reporter looks to be taking O'Connor's deep ties to the Squirrel Hill-centric district dead on. We hear he will also try to get traction by noting O'Connor's ties to Luke Ravenstahl too.
In a statement released yesterday after losing the Dem committee endorsement -- Zurawsky is a 14th ward committeeman -- he said O'Connor and his ilk (from his dad to his dad's former chief of staff, Doug Shields) have represented the district too long, with too little to show for it.
"After 20 years, my neighbors need a council member with a new perspective, someone who can look at the challenges facing the district with a fresh pair of eyes," he said in a prepared statement. "We need a candidate who's looking ahead, not back."
The full statement is after the jump:After consulting with numerous supporters, Chris Zurawsky will continue his campaign for Pittsburgh City Council, District 5, despite the Allegheny Council Democratic Committee's endorsement of his opponent today.
"While I understand and respect the committee process, I also feel that elections should be decided by the entire party and that voters have the right to a choice at the polls," Zurawsky said.
Many local Democratic candidates have continued on to victory after failing to gain their party's endorsement, including former Pittsburgh mayors Bob O'Connor and Richard Caliguiri.
Chris Zurawsky is in his third term as a committeeman and is past president of the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club.
The Fifth District includes Greenfield, Hazelwood, Squirrel Hill South, and other neighborhoods. Since 1991 it has been represented in city council by two men, Bob O'Connor and his chief of staff, Doug Shields. O'Connor's son, Corey, is challenging Zurawsky for the seat.
"After 20 years, my neighbors need a council member with a new perspective, someone who can look at the challenges facing the district with a fresh pair of eyes," Zurawsky said. "We need a candidate who's looking ahead, not back."