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Local Democrats reiterate Corbett endorsement

| Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010

A Munhall councilman said he knows and likes Democratic Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, but believes state Republican state Attorney General Tom Corbett is the better candidate for governor.

"We just need to break from the tradition that we have been under in Harrisburg for longer than eight years of tax and spend," Dan Lloyd said Monday, reiterating an endorsement he and 18 other Democrats gave Corbett in Pittsburgh last week.

"Our spending has gone up 40 percent (under Gov. Ed Rendell) and our revenue 12 percent," said Lloyd, an insurance agent in Munhall. "We need a candidate in Harrisburg who wants to cut spending."

According to Corbett's office, state Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-Donora, also endorsed Corbett, as did former McKeesport Area school director David Donato and county Democratic committee members James and Carmella Mullen of Braddock.

"I also work with people who have worked with Tom Corbett over the years and they say he is the best attorney general they have worked with," Lloyd said.

Lloyd's biggest beefs with Grant Street involve funding the Port Authority and the freezing of property assessments at 2002 rates.

"That solution hurt the poorest people in the county," Lloyd said. "We are probably at 110 percent of market value, while in such places as Sewickley and Upper St. Clair they might be at 50 or 60 percent."

The Munhall councilman also said he didn't want any more "Band-Aids" for Port Authority, which plans service cuts, fare hikes and layoffs in January if it cannot fill a $47 million hole in state funding.

Lloyd said he received no flack for his endorsement.

On Monday, Democratic nominee Onorato received the blessing of clergy and other leaders in the Pittsburgh black community, including Clifton Pitts of Duquesne, chairman of the Mon Valley Peoples Action Committee.

Four years ago, Pitts was a witness as Onorato signed an executive order aimed at providing fair representation to all areas of the county as well as greater diversity on commissions, boards and authorities he appoints.

Pitts called that a "strong move (that was) long overdue and sorely needed."

Onorato's running mate for lieutenant governor, state Rep. H. Scott Conklin, D-Philipsburg, met area mayors in Crabtree, Westmoreland County, Monday, including James Brewster of McKeesport, John Fetterman of Braddock and Betty Esper of Homestead.

"As Allegheny County executive, Dan worked to improve the region's economy," the Braddock mayor said. "Under his leadership, Westmoreland County and counties across Pennsylvania will benefit."

Brewster, who endorsed Onorato prior to the primary, is Democratic nominee in a special 45th state Senatorial District election against Republican Paul Olijar of Plum and Libertarian Len Young of Monroeville.

Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Balya also was at Conklin's event.

"(Onorato) will work with us and ensure that our towns and communities are a key part of the strategy for getting our state's economy back on track," Balya said.

Bucks County Commissioner James Cawley is the GOP nominee for the state's number-two slot.

In the race for U.S. Senate, Republican former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey will visit three suburban Pittsburgh communities today, including an appearance with U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, in McMurray.

Murphy is being challenged in the 18th Congressional District by Democrat Dan Connolly of South Park Township.

The Democratic U.S. Senate nominee, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, returned to Eastern Pennsylvania Monday, after a weekend debate with Toomey in Pittsburgh and a rally in Erie.

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