Closing Arguments in the Allegheny Exec Race

By Keegan Gibson and David Gerber

The Allegheny Executive campaigns unveiled their closing arguments this week, and both of them are about Rick Fitzgerald.

(Check out PoliticsPA’s profile of the race).

The Democratic candidate ended on a relatively high note, boasting his resume and endorsement by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a new TV ad.

The add opens up with Raja’s face faded in the background, “He [Raja] makes costly promises, but, fails to convince us he can pay for them.”

“But, they have ‘no such reservations’ about Rich Fitzgerald, praising his independence, integrity and vision.”

Raja meanwhile sought to highlight Fitzgerald’s recent pattern of unusual attacks against the Republican’s campaign staffers.

It started after Tuesday’s debate. Mike Wereschagin of the Tribune Review and Tim McNulty of Early Returns reported on a confrontation between Fitzgerald and Raja adviser Mark Harris and his wife.

Writes Wereschagin:

On his way out of the studio, Fitzgerald walked past Harris, who said to the candidate, “You’re attacking me by name?” Fitzgerald said he was. Then Harris’ wife, Krista, who was standing next to Harris, shook Fitzgerald’s hand and said, “I’m his wife.”

Fitzgerald, smiling, responded: “I wouldn’t be proud of that.”

The Raja camp has rolled that incident into another of its favorite hits on Fitzgerald – his email to Marcellus industry folks in which he demanded campaign contributions – to paint a picture of a candidate with serious temperament issues.

“Rich’s odd and off-putting behavior reflect what I have been saying throughout this campaign,” said Raja. “I have been a CEO and I know how to remain calm under pressure. If Rich acts this unpredictably and unprofessionally during a campaign, how can we expect him to respond responsibly during times of crisis such as a major transit strike, a natural disaster or God forbid a terrorist attack?”

Five days left.

November 3rd, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Top Stories | No Comments