Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fitzgerald to 2020 Dems: You Can't Win without Western Pa

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fitzgerald to 2020 Dems: You Can't Win without Western Pa

Article excerpt

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has a message for the 20 Democrats running for president:

Come to Western Pennsylvania, but not just Pittsburgh.

In a letter he sent to every candidate in the field earlier this week, Mr. Fitzgerald wrote that the Democrats' path to victory in 2020 "runs through Western Pennsylvania" but doesn't end at Allegheny County.

"We saw in 2016 that winning big in Allegheny County isn't enough. And we saw in 2018 that there are people all over Western Pennsylvania who share our priorities and are ready to come back to our party," he wrote. "But only if we show up."

Mr. Fitzgerald said he would introduce the candidates to Democratic elected officials all across the region, noting that if the party hopes to defeat President Donald Trump, it will have to "go everywhere" and talk about the issues that unite people.

Those issues, according to the April 22 letter obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, include "good jobs, affordable health care, education, support for unions and protecting Social Security and Medicare," the county executive wrote.

In an interview Friday, Mr. Fitzgerald said Democratic candidates in 2016 spent "all of their time" in the urban cores of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and even though they did well in Allegheny County, they did "extremely poor" in the rural communities and counties.

"We didn't make our case as Democrats as to what we're going to do for working people," Mr. Fitzgerald said.

His letter to candidates mentioned Conor Lamb's victory in a special election last year for Congress, in which Mr. Lamb fought for votes in solid-Republican Washington, Greene and Westmoreland counties.

Mr. Lamb "made his case in union halls and VFW halls and senior centers," Mr. Fitzgerald said, asserting that Democrats would be wise to follow suit. …

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