Fetterman, Ahmad garner local endorsements in Lt. Gov. race
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald endorsed Braddock Mayor John Fetterman for lieutenant governor on Tuesday, two days after a Democratic Party club representing Pittsburgh's largest ward favored Philadelphia candidate Nina Ahmad.
Fitzgerald joined Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell and a group of regional state representatives and mayors in endorsing Fetterman, who has drawn national attention as a progressive Democrat.
Fetterman's lieutenant governor campaign follows a 2016 bid for U.S. Senate in which he lost to Democratic primary challenger Katie McGinty despite winning 45 percent of the party vote in Allegheny County to McGinty's 35 percent.
Pittsburgh's 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club, whose mission is to champion progressive ideas within the party, preferred Ahmad in a vote by its membership Sunday after listening to speeches from each campaign, said Ron Gaydos, the club's president.
Gaydos said the group was impressed with Ahmad's background and the fact that she is a female candidate and immigrant from Bangladesh. Ahmad was deputy mayor of Philadelphia under Mayor Jim Kenney.
The club represents about 17,000 Democrats in Squirrel Hill, Point Breeze, North Point Breeze, Regent Square, Park Place and Swisshelm Park. It distributes a voter guide each year to registered Democrats in the ward.
The other Democratic candidates in the race are incumbent Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone and Montgomery County businessman Ray Sosa.
Ahmad had about $600,000 in campaign cash at the end of March, including a loan from herself of about $500,000, according to campaign finance reports. Fetterman had about $141,000, and Stack had about $275,000.