Loans Boost Campaign Funds for County Executive Candidates
Puko, Timothy, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Both Democratic candidates for Allegheny County executive are using loans to bolster their campaign funds, according to campaign finance reports filed yesterday.
County Council President Rich Fitzgerald loaned $500,000 of his own money to his campaign, nearly two-thirds of the cash on hand, campaign documents state. His only declared opponent in the May primary, Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty, got nearly $200,000 in loans from donors including other Flahertys and a Steelers executive, totaling nearly 40 percent of his money.
"It appears neither of them are really prepared for this race," said Jerry Shuster, professor of political communications at the University of Pittsburgh.
The level of resources signals vulnerability to Republicans, Shuster said.
The only Republican publicly exploring a bid is County Councilman Matt Drozd of Ross. He has less than $3,000 on hand, he said. His year-end 2010 report -- due yesterday -- was unavailable on the County Elections Division website, as were several others.
State Sen. John Pippy, R-Moon, has discussed running and has more than $108,000 on hand, according to his report filed with the Department of State. All of the money was raised before 2010.
At least 18 donors gave $5,000 or more to Flaherty, 48, of Mt. …