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Regola points finger in wrong direction

| Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008

State Sen. Bob Regola's decision to withdraw from his re-election campaign will spare his family what surely would have been a bruising race.

This, after a two-year ordeal following a teenage neighbor's suicide with the senator's gun.

But it was Regola's own failure to secure the gun in the first place that invited tragedy in the 2006 death of Louis Farrell, 14, and led to the senator's political undoing.

And though Regola, 45, last month was vindicated of criminal perjury and firearms charges, poor polling numbers were the proverbial writing on the wall.

Regola's late announcement leaves the GOP with just 10 days, under state rules, to find a replacement in the 39th Senatorial District to run against Democrat Anthony Bompiani, of Youngwood.

That leaves the Republican substitute with a daunting fundraising challenge in a predominantly Democrat district.

Regola scored precious few hits as a legislator and certainly no grand slams.

Had the freshman senator exercised the good sense to vehemently denounce at the onset the Legislature's 2005 pay-jacking - when the region's other lawmakers fell silent - the first-termer from Hempfield Township would have returned home a hero.

Instead Bob Regola will leave the Legislature quietly after an unremarkable term.

And under a cloud of his own making, not the media's, as he would have his constituents believe.

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