GOP puts up name to oppose Onorato

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County Councilman Matt Drozd wants Republican voters to write in his 26-year-old son Matt's name for Allegheny County chief executive in tomorrow's primary election -- even though his son apparently doesn't want the job.

   
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The last-minute campaign is a symbolic gesture, Mr. Drozd said, to hold a spot until Republicans find a candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent Dan Onorato in November.

"Matt's carrying the torch to hand it off to someone else," his father said. "He recognizes that we need a candidate who is more experienced."

Candidate Matt did not attend yesterday's press briefing Downtown announcing the write-in campaign because "it's Mother's Day and he knows he needs to be with his mother," his father said.

Matt the younger recently moved back to his parents' home in Ross after losing his Maryland-based marketing job for a Canadian construction company. He was a champion swimmer at North Hills High School and West Virginia University, where he majored in sports management.

Mr. Drozd said he suggested the idea of running to his son, who agreed only as long as he didn't have to make any speeches. His father said his son does not plan to campaign, nor does he intend to challenge incumbent Dan Onorato to a debate.

"He said, 'Dad, I don't want to be the chief executive, but I'll stand up at least for the primary.' "

Mr. Drozd said he considered running himself except that would mean resigning from his County Council position.

He strongly believes, though, that someone should oppose Mr. Onorato to address issues such as the county's crumbling infrastructure, rising jail population and "frivolous" spending such as building light rail tunnels between Downtown and the North Shore.

"Not having a candidate in the fall does a disservice to all the people of Allegheny County, because it doesn't give them a chance to hear the issues," he said.


Steve Twedt can be reached at stwedt@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1963.


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