September 11, 2004


Wecht crossing party lines for Specter (David M. Brown, September 11, 2004, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Allegheny County Coroner Cyril H. Wecht, a fixture in local Democratic Party politics for decades, is expected to endorse Republican U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter's re-election bid.

Specter's campaign has scheduled a news conference Monday at Wecht's Downtown law office for a "major announcement," according to a release. Specter campaign manager Christopher Nicholas confirmed on Friday the event would be an endorsement by the coroner.

Wecht couldn't be reached for comment.

Wecht, a former Democratic county commissioner and past chairman of the county Democratic Committee, has long been a party stalwart. As the endorsed candidate in a party that touts solidarity, Wecht won the Democratic primary in the 1999 election for chief executive under the county's new home rule charter. He lost the election to Republican Jim Roddey. [...]

Hoeffel spokeswoman Kristin Carvell said Wecht's action won't sway Democrats.

"The bottom line is that it doesn't change the fact that Democrats in Western Pennsylvania and across the state are coming out to vote for Joe Hoeffel on Nov. 2," she said.

"Pennsylvanians statewide know that Arlen Specter has supported the failed Bush-Cheney administration policies a whopping 89 percent of the time, and they are ready for a change."

Get ready for many more stories like this. As the GOP consolidates its permanent majority status folks who aim for higher office will be switching.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 11, 2004 6:03 PM

Love him or hate him, Specter is right about at the Pennsylvania consensus. He is also excellent at constituency service.

Posted by: Bart at September 11, 2004 10:29 PM

I was pushing for Toomey to win the GOP primary. However, it does appear Specter will win easily and perhaps help Bush win PA.

Posted by: AWW at September 11, 2004 10:50 PM

Cyril Wecht isn't going to sway anyone.

Posted by: AML at September 12, 2004 12:33 AM

Neither was Phil Gramm, but TX is now completely Republican.

Posted by: oj at September 12, 2004 12:38 AM

Wecht isn't going to 'swing' anyone. However, he is a reflection of a broader trend. He is not leading the crowd, merely following it.

A significant percentage of the Democratic vote in Pennsylvania is gun-owning and culturally conservative. A Swiss-educated, gun-grabbing preppie like Kerry ain't exactly wowing them down in 'Deer Hunter' country.

Posted by: Bart at September 12, 2004 6:55 AM