There are many famous Doyles throughout history.
- Arthur Conan Doyle, British writer
- Brian Doyle-Murray, actor/writer
- Denny Doyle, baseball player
- “Popeye” Doyle, fictional character in the French Connection.
Then there is Michael Doyle. Former U.N. Assistant Secretary-General. Or alleged member of the Molly Maguires. Or Pennsylvania politicians.
That’s politicians with an “s.” And that’s where our story begins.
Democrat Mike Doyle currently serves as the 18th Congressional District representative for Allegheny County in the U.S. House. He is retiring at the end of the term after 28 years in Washington.
Republican Mike Doyle is a candidate for the 12th Congressional District seat, squaring off against Summer Lee. Lee, the Democrat, is suggesting that the Republican Doyle is using his name to capitalize on the retiring Doyle’s name recognition.
“I am not just some piker who decided to run for office because my name happened to be Mike Doyle,” the Republican nominee from Plum told the Tribune-Review.
For his part, the Democratic Doyle of Forest Hills says, “I didn’t all of a sudden decide to switch parties.”
One can see both sides of this double-edged sword. GOP Doyle has to explain to many Republican voters in the district that has a plus-25 partisan lean according to Dave’s Redistricting. On the other hand, people do know the name Mike Doyle.
The Democratic Doyle said he is encouraging voters to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, “including the 12th Congressional District.” He said he’ll be voting for Democrat Chris Deluzio in the 17th Congressional District, where he now lives after the districts were redrawn earlier this year.
The newly redrawn 12th Congressional District includes Pittsburgh, parts of Allegheny County, including Bethel Park and Monroeville, and parts of Westmoreland County, including Hempfield, North Huntingdon, and Sewickley Townships.
Lee’s campaign manager, Abigail Gardner, said confusion over the Doyle name is the “No. 1 conversation” campaign staffers are having with voters while knocking on doors in the district.
“We have heard a lot of confusion when we’re talking to voters about the fact that Summer’s opponent is named Mike Doyle,” Gardner said. “We have no doubt Summer will win on Election Day, but voters need to get the correct information so they can make an informed decision in the voting booth.”
Gardner accused the Republican Doyle’s campaign of trying to maximize confusion. She said the Republican Doyle doesn’t identify his party on his logo, campaign website or yard signs.
She also claimed that the Republican Doyle also has declined forums and interviews to further sow confusion.
“As far as debates go, I will debate (Lee) every week until Election Day,” the Republican Doyle said.
updated to reflect Democrat Doyle represents Allegheny County.