Rendell allies look west for 2010 heir
Battle-wary fund-raisers put stock in Allegheny County's fiscal star.
By Thomas Fitzgerald
Inquirer Staff Writer
Some of Gov. Rendell's top Philadelphia-area fund-raisers are backing a Western Pennsylvanian for governor in 2010, hoping to avoid a protracted battle for the Democratic nomination.
While the governor has remained neutral, allies as close as David L. Cohen, once Rendell's mayoral chief of staff, will host a reception today for Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato.
Though Onorato is little-known in Southeastern Pennsylvania, state political figures credit him with a fiscal turnaround in his county, and he is seen as the best hope for keeping a Democrat in the governor's office when Rendell leaves office.
As many as 50 Rendell money people are expected at a reception for Onorato in the executive dining room at Citizens Bank Park. Onorato, 46, is coy about whether he will run, but the event is an early boost to any potential campaign for governor.
Along with Cohen, Mark Aronchick