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The seven major-party candidates for Allegheny County Executive have been invited to participate in a forum on Wednesday at the Palisades Ballroom, Downtown.
The non-partisan event begins at 6:30 p.m. and is being sponsored by the Steel Rivers Council of Governments, Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments, and the Tri-COG Land Bank, said Keegan Gibson, spokesman.
Topics will include the candidates’ vision for the Mon Valley and eastern suburban region; fighting blighted properties; land banking; code enforcement; the role of COGs and the county in inter-municipal cooperation; economic development of large, post-industrial sites; and more.
Topics were determined in consultation with local elected officials, Gibson said.
The moderators will be An Lewis, executive director of both Steel Rivers COG and Tri-COG Land Bank; and Amanda Settelmaier, executive director of the Turtle Creek Valley COG.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, a Democrat who has held the position since 2012, is not seeking re-election to a fourth term.
The executive has a position something like a mayor, overseeing day-to-day operations of Allegheny County, the second-largest county in Pennsylvania. The executive is responsible for hiring and firing department heads, setting policies in conjunction with the 15-member elected county council, and submitting the county’s annual budget for approval.
There are six Democrats and one Republican currently seeking the office. The Democrats will face off in the municipal primary election on May 16, with the winner running in the general election in November.
According to the Allegheny County Elections Division, the candidates who have submitted nominating petitions are:
• Theresa Sciulli Colaizzi, 15th Ward of Pittsburgh, Democratic
• Dave Fawcett, Oakmont, Democratic
• Sara Innamorato, 10th Ward of Pittsburgh, Democratic
• Michael E. Lamb, 19th Ward of Pittsburgh, Democratic
• William Parker, 10th Ward of Pittsburgh, Democratic
• Joseph E. Rockey, Ohio Twp., Republican
• John K. Weinstein, Kennedy Twp., Democratic
All candidates whose names will appear on the ballot have been invited, Gibson said, and most have already said they plan to attend.
The Palisades is located at 501 Water St. at Fifth Avenue, Downtown, next to the McKees’ Point Marina.
Originally published March 24, 2023.