Press Release

Master Builders’ Association Endorses Rockey

Represents 265 employers with 45,000 trades workers


November 1, 2023

PITTSBURGH – The Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania today endorsed Joe Rockey for Allegheny County Executive, citing the importance of reversing declines in population and a non-ideological agenda for economic growth.

The group, headquartered in Green Tree, represents 265 employers in the region and partners with the Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades, representing 45,000 workers.

In a statement issued to members today, the Association endorsed Rockey, saying Allegheny needs “a County Executive who is not only qualified to lead an economic recovery but also a leader with a results-oriented agenda and a practical focus on policy issues specific to Allegheny County.”

The organization met with both Rockey and his opponent, Sara Innamorato before reaching its decision.

The Association dismissed attempts to nationalize the election on broader issues that have no bearing on the progress of Allegheny County.

“These ideological issues are more relevant to a national stage, and voters should consider which candidate is best suited to implement specific solutions to move Allegheny County’s people and our economy forward,” the organization said in its prepared statement.

Rockey said he was heartened to learn of the endorsement.

“This campaign has been about making sure that working families can afford to continue to prosper here. The Master Builders’ Association, and the hard-working union men and women who work in this field deserve a County Executive who understands the economy and how to grow jobs,” Rockey said.

A copy of the Master Builders’ Association statement can be found here.



Press Release

Insulators union endorses Rockey, adding to labor support

Easy decision, says union business agent


October 25, 2023

PITTSBURGH – Joe Rockey’s campaign for Allegheny County Executive rang up another union endorsement this week, with an endorsement by the 1,000-member International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 2.

“It wasn’t a hard decision,” said Jim Cassidy, the union’s business manager. “You’ve got to think of your membership first.”

The 120-year-old group is known as the first “Green Building Trades Union” because of its work in energy savings.

Cassidy said that his organization supported Rockey because of his pro-growth stand, and noted that his Democratic opponent, Sara Innamorato, had opposed the location of a “hydrogen hub” in western Pennsylvania. The Biden administration earlier this month announced that western Pennsylvania’s proposal to locate the hub in this region had been rejected in favor of one supported by political leaders in West Virginia.

“She opposes everything. I have lost so many thousands of work hours because of her and the people she hangs around with,” Cassidy said. 

The Insulators endorsement now brings to more than 10,000 the number of workers represented by trades unions, including the Laborers International Union, the Boilermakers, and the Steamfitters unions. Rockey has also won the endorsement of multiple locals of the Fraternal Order of Police as well as the union representing county corrections workers.

“As the son of union Democrats, I know the importance of organized labor in Allegheny County. The men and women who make things work here deserve our unwavering support and that means always supporting the efforts to provide good, family sustaining jobs,” Rockey said.



Press Release

Rockey praises elections department, staff as vote nears

Calls on Innamorato to join in supporting current staff


October 20, 2023

PITTSBURGH – With two weeks to go before Election Day, County Executive nominee Joe Rockey today offered praise for the operation of the Allegheny County Department of Elections and called on his opponent to commit to making no changes in its management.

“Allegheny County is facing many problems, but one thing we won’t need to change is the leadership and staff of our Department of Elections,” Rockey added. “The Department of Elections has always been reliable, honest and free of political interference. A Rockey administration will keep it that way. I call on our opponent to commit to the same hands-off policy.”

Rockey singled out for praise department director David Voye and his staff, along with the hundreds of volunteers who, twice-yearly, staff the 1,324 polling places across the county.

Rockey has repeatedly stated that the 2020 vote was fair, accurate and honest and he urged all sides to make certain that the elections department is free of political pressure in the years ahead.



Press Release

Rockey widens labor support as Plumbers endorse

Union says he’s best choice as candidate builds momentum


October 19, 2023

PITTSBURGH – Joe Rockey continued to rack up labor endorsements in his campaign for Allegheny County Executive this week, earning the endorsement of the 1,110-member Plumbers Union Local 27.

“We looked at the candidates and it was clear that Joe Rockey stands for jobs and the pro-growth policies that can guarantee good-paying, union jobs for our members and the companies we service,” said Edward J. Bigley, business manager for the Coraopolis-based local.

Rockey, retired senior vice-president and risk officer for Pittsburgh-based PNC, has promoted a moderate and pro-labor platform that encourages new business and a respect for blue-collar jobs.

“Not only is he the best candidate for our members, but to me Joe Rockey is clearly the best candidate for our county,” Bigley said.

The 133-year-old union provides commercial services to 46 contractors throughout the region and offers training and apprenticeships to plumbers in both the commercial construction business and home services.

Rockey added the Plumbers endorsement to a growing list that includes the Laborers International Union of North America, Boilermakers Local 154 and Steamfitters Local 449, along with Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1, Lodge 91, Lodge 39 and 47 representing Pennsylvania State Troopers. Rockey also won the endorsement of the Allegheny County Prison Employees Independent Union.

The son of union Democrats, Rockey has embraced organized labor, noting that his plan for economic renewal, which he terms a “Jobs Renaissance,” is focused on a renewal in manufacturing along with support for the emerging technology and medical economy of the region.

“The support of working people is both humbling and a call to work tirelessly toward replacing the tens of thousands of jobs lost in the past five years,” Rockey said. “I am ready to fight for working people and their jobs from Day One.”



Press Release

Steamfitters join other labor unions in endorsing Rockey


October 15, 2023

Pittsburgh, Pa – Allegheny County Executive candidate Joe Rockey continued to add to his list of labor endorsements today when the 3,000-member strong Steamfitters Local 449 delivered an October endorsement.

“We watched the candidates. We listened and we checked the record. Joe Rockey was the candidate who made it clear that he backs good, union jobs in this region,” said Steamfitters business agent Ken Broadbent. “Sara Innamorato wasn’t there for us on the hydrogen hub. Labor can’t count on her to take the right stand when it matters.”

The endorsement comes just days after the Biden administration announced that it had accepted a plan for the construction of a clean-energy Hydrogen Hub project, putting the majority of jobs and construction in West Virginia. Innamorato has publicly opposed the construction of a hydrogen hub, putting her at odds with building trades unions that supported a bid by Pennsylvania.

The Steamfitters join the Laborers International Union of North America, Laborers Local 372, Boilermakers Local 154 in endorsing Rockey. Those unions represent close to thousands of members in Allegheny County. Rockey has also been endorsed by four Lodges of the Fraternal Order of Police, including the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding departments, and last month was endorsed by the centrist Forward Party of former Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang.

“I’m the son of union Democrats. I grew up in an era when blue-collar work was not just respected, but celebrated,” Rockey said. “That’s the tradition in which I was raised and it’s one in which I’ll lead as Allegheny County Executive.”

The endorsement comes at the same time the Innamorato campaign has entered a retrenching mode, with the candidate abruptly distancing herself from the Democratic Socialists of America,
the far-left group whose banner she carried in races for the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives.

After waiting four days, Innamorato finally denounced Pittsburgh DSA’s opposition to Israel in the wake of terrorist attacks by Hamas that killed thousands of Israeli civilians.

Innamorato and Rockey appeared side-by-side Sunday morning in the third debate of the campaign. Online reviews of Innamorato’s performance were largely negative, with one viewer describing Rockey’s answers as precise and focused and Innamorato’s responses as “word salad.”



Press Release

Rockey backers launch Democrats for Rockey

Coalition includes former Dem hopefuls, dozens of party stalwarts


October 10, 2023

PITTSBURGH – Nearly 100 Allegheny County Democrats, including two former contenders for the party’s nomination, launched Democrats for Rockey today, amid warnings that their party is being overtaken by extremists, Democratic nominee Sara Innamorato chief among them.

One after the other, members of the newly forming coalition keyed on Innamorato’s membership in the Democratic Socialists of America, a far-left group that recently sided against Israel in the ongoing attacks by the Hamas terrorist group.

“I know a Democrat when I see one. Sara Innamorato is not a Democrat. She is a Democratic Socialist. I do not believe that everyone understands the difference. I cannot allow someone to use my party for their own purposes,” said Theresa Colaizzi, a former Pittsburgh School Board president who sought her party’s nomination for Allegheny County Executive.

Innamorato attempted to strike Colaizzi’s name from the Spring primary ballot, a move she described as cynical and reminiscent of the worst in party politics.

“To this day, Sara Innamorato doesn’t want to explain her relationship with DSA,” Colaizzi said. “Is she still a member? If so, why hide it? If she quit DSA, what changed her mind? It would be nice if the local media covering this race would ask her so the public would know.”

Also endorsing is Will Parker, who publicly endorsed Rockey days after the May Primary in which more than 60 percent of Democratic voters supported someone other than Innamorato.

Among other Democrats endorsing Rockey was Michael Sarsfield, former president of Carnegie Borough Council and onetime Democratic chair of that community.

Sarsfield noted Innamorato’ often evasive answers about her DSA connections as well as flipflops on issues ranging from the reopening of a juvenile detention center to her plans to reassess Allegheny County properties.

“Joe Rockey knows where he stands. In the political middle, with the rest of us,” Sarsfield said. “Anyone who watched the debates knows that the longest distance between two points is a Sara Innamorato answer.”

Joining the group was Jim Ellenbogen, a onetime Allegheny County Council member who noted that he has, “a hundred years of Democratic politics running in my veins.”

“I’m here to tell you today that our last, best hope to halt the decline in Allegheny County is a man named Joe Rockey,” Ellenbogen said. “He might appear under the Republican line, but when I hear him speak, I think of some of the greats of the Democratic Party.

“Joe Rockey’s moderate views, his support for social programs and his respect for blue-collar jobs – all these things do more than make him electable. They make him necessary.”

The group’s launch marked the beginning of what Rockey has called a “coming home” for many traditional Democrats who find themselves alienated by Innamorato’s attempts to distract from her DSA roots and stated desire to “make Allegheny County a laboratory for progressive policies.” 

“The people here today are making it clear. They are Democrats. Sara Innamorato is not,” Rockey said. “We need an administration that reflects the values and middle-road policies that have helped us survive hard years. We can’t risk turning Allegheny County into someone’s political experiment.”


A list of members of Democrats for Rockey is attached

List of Democrats Endorsing Joe Rockey Tuesday

Note: this is a partial list as additional Democrats have informed the campaign they are exploring an endorsement of Joe Rockey

1) Mimi Eisel: Senior activist; former Board member in Thornberry 

2) Eric Lloyd: CEO Aeras 

3) Max Beier: Partner; Beier, Beier & Beier (Pgh) 

4) Phil Ameris: President of Laborers Local 1058 

5) Lauren Metz: UPMC Wexford

6) Will Parker: Ran for County Executive 

7) Angela Fazio: Community activist Robinson Twp

8) Bill Stewart: Engineer 

9) Lucy Harper: Mayor of Pennsbury 

10) George Satler: Former candidate for Allegheny County Sheriff 

11) Susan Godleski: Executive Day Care Industry Robinson Twp

12) James Barefoot: Robinson Twp. Commissioner 

13) Theresa Colaizzi: Ran for County Executive 

14) Robert DelGrecco: Shareholder with Dickie McCamey 

15) Abby Kougher: Owner of an IT company North Side

16) James Larkin: Senior activist North Hills

17) Patty Larkin: Senior activist North Hills

18) Michael Sarsfield: Former Carnegie Council president and Constable 

19) Sue Newman: Chief of Security for Ross Twp. 

20) Mike Stanton: Boilermakers’ Business Manager 

21) Jim Ellenbogen: Former Allegheny County Councilman 

22) Christian Manders: East End activist; Healthcare & Tech Community

 23) George Shannon: Mayor of Sewickley 

24) George Eaborn: Robinson Twp; Retired Shipping Industry & Small Businessman

 25) Mary Lou McLaughlin: Director Emeritus of the Pittsburgh Foundation 

26) Terry Lloyd: Lloyd Trust Wexford

27) Mike Caputo: Accel Entertainment 

28) Anna Barr: Engineer Robinson Twp

29) Alyssa Edmonds: Elementary Teacher Forest Grove Elementary

30) Gina Richards: Physician’s Assistant Moon Twp

31) Helen Jarvis: Community activist Mckees Rocks

32) Bill Edmonds: Architect Robinson Twp

33) Joey Waslousky: Project Manager – Kennedy Twp

34) Paul Musko: Senior activist – Kennedy Twp

35) Johnny Able: Partner Salire Inc. 

36) Greg Erosenko: Former Monroeville Councilman; Veteran activist 

37) Liz Matergia: Dem’s Women Golf Association 

38) Mary Jo Stewart: Community activist Kennedy Twp

40) Amy DiClemente: Community activist McKees Rocks

41) Dyland Edmonds: Executive, sporting goods company 

42) Alex Pravlochak: Mechanical Engineer 

43) Julia Pravlochak: Paralegal – Moon Twp

44) Dave Matergia: Community activity Robinson Twp

45) Jim Elk: Boilermakers’ Business Agent 

46) Joe Laquatra Jr.: Laborers Local 1058 Business Manager

 47) Jason Markovich: Laborers Local 1058 Business Manager 

48) Sue Demko: Carnegie Councilwoman 

49) Matt Feldmeier: FOP Lodge 91; Endorsement Chair 

50) Richard Ruffolo: FOP Lodge 1 Pittsburgh; President 

51) Jon Barefoot: Owner Sir Duke Auto Detailing 

52) Tracy Blyzwick: Montour High School Special Education Teacher 

53) Kalyn Kohler: Kennedy Twp; RN; Veterans Administration Hospital

 54) Anthony McCune: Retired; Senior activist from Garfield 

55) Peter Leone: Insurance Executive 

56) John Caputo: Avalon 

57) Mike Ford: Mt. Lebanon 

58) Ron Connolly: Robinson 

59) Ed Liffey: Highland Park 

60) Mike Vaughan: Brookline 

61) Meg Vaughan: Brookline 

62) Alice Leone: Thornburg 

63) Helen Kondrich: Swisshelm Park 

64) Keith Kondrich: Swisshelm Park 

65) Marilyn Sieber: Reserve 

66) Mark Wahl: Ross 

67) Maura Wahl: Ross 

68) James Barefoot Jr.: Cleveland Bros Equipment 

69) Tom Wratcher: Wall Borough; President of Council

70) Mary Jo Goodrich: Goodrich Law

71) Gene Grattan, Past President Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, Fraternal Order of Police.


Press Release

Boilermakers endorsement adds to Rockey campaign’s growing momentum with labor groups


September 20, 2023

PITTSBURGH – Calling him “a true friend of labor,” Pittsburgh-based Local 154 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers today endorsed Joe Rockey for Allegheny County Executive.

The union’s workforce includes more than 2,000 members, 1,600 journeymen, 150 apprentices and 200 trainees. The union joins the Laborers International Union, and a quartet of law enforcement unions in endorsing Rockey.

“I grew up in a union household and I know the vital role organized labor plays in the lives and economic fortunes of every citizen of Allegheny County,” Rockey said. “Working men and women need someone who will stand strong for the good-paying jobs that support working families and set a wage standard that lifts every working person.”

Local 154 Business Manager, Michael Stanton stated, “Joe has proven to be a true friend of labor, and we are happy to support his campaign. It is without a doubt that Joe will serve Allegheny County with great character and compassion; and the Boilermakers wish him the best of luck.” 

Throughout the campaign, Rockey has supported economic development projects vital to blue-collar labor, including the energy industry as well as a proposed Hydrogen Hub designed to produce clean-burning hydrogen energy. The project enjoys the endorsement of leading Democrats, including President Joe Biden, Gov. Josh Shapiro and outgoing County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

“Allegheny County was built by the men and women of the Boilermakers and other trades unions,” Rockey said. “I am proud to stand with them in my efforts to create a jobs renaissance in Allegheny County.” Organized in 1880, the Boilermakers are one of the nation’s oldest unions, with more than 200 locals across North America. 

Organized in 1880, the Boilermakers are one of the nation’s oldest unions, with more than 200 locals across North America.



Press Release

Rockey launches newest campaign ad in County Executive race


September 15, 2023

PITTSBURGH – Joe Rockey, Republican nominee for Allegheny County Executive, unveiled his newest campaign spot, highlighting support from a broad range of people from various walks of life.

Titled “Trust,” the 30-second spot features supporters from various places where they praise his honesty, his plans for jobs and public safety, and opposition to a countywide property reassessment that could raise taxes on the homes of working families and senior citizens. 

The spot begins with comments by a former PNC colleague praising Rockey’s problem-solving abilities, and includes praise from a pair of Homewood women who run a catering business, a senior couple in Pittsburgh’s Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood, and two members of the Laborers International Union, which has endorsed him.

Rockey, a retired top executive with PNC, has been on the Pittsburgh airwaves for two weeks.

The spot, produced by Downtown-based ColdSpark Media, began airing on local channels today.

Watch the broadcast advertisement here or by following the link below.



Press Release

Joe Rockey unveils plan for jobs, economic growth 


September 14, 2023

PITTSBURGH – Calling for a ‘Jobs Renaissance’ for Allegheny County, Joe Rockey, Republican nominee for Allegheny County Executive, today unveiled a six-point plan for economic growth and increased employment. 

“It’s time we stopped managing decline and reimagined growth by leveraging our workforce, resources and tradition as a center of innovation and manufacturing,” Rockey said in unveiling the plan during an afternoon press conference on the site of the former Jones & Laughlin steel plant. 

The Rockey plan centers on six major themes: 

  • Maximizing federal programs enacted to encourage re-shoring of manufacturing of components needed by industries from automobiles to computers. 
  • Leveraging the abundant natural resources of the Allegheny County region.
  • Expand employment training programs while encouraging population growth. 
  • Streamline regulatory processes that have held back business location and expansion, the recent loss of U.S. Steel’s $1.5 billion modernization in the Mon Valley as “Exhibit A.” 
  • Spark a new industrial renaissance by encouraging an “all-of-the-above” menu of jobs ranging from technology to legacy manufacturing. 
  • Promote the region to job-creators with a 100-company outreach to promote Allegheny County as a place to locate and grow business. 

“We learned an important lesson from the Covid pandemic: the United States cannot again be left at risk of supply chain interruptions. Cars weren’t completed. Computers weren’t built. Vital industries ground to a halt for lack of vital components, many of which had been invented in the U.S.,” Rockey said. 

He pointed to the failure of the region to attract investments landed by other states, notably Ohio, under two federal relief packages: The CHIPS Act, which sought to reestablish microchip manufacturing in the United States, and the Inflation Reduction Act, which directed $125 billion to create 86,000 jobs. 

“Allegheny County should have had an important share of those federal dollars and a Rockey administration will fight – and fight hard – to redirect our tax dollars back into Allegheny County to create good jobs,” Rockey said. 

Rockey’s plan also calls for a county initiative to reduce bureaucratic roadblocks to employment expansion and called for the county to work to create more “pad-ready” sites for businesses seeking to establish manufacturing facilities here. 

Endorsed by one of the region’s largest private-sector unions, the Laborers International Union of North America, Rockey promised to conduct a comprehensive workforce analysis to match job openings with training skills, and said he would promote education and training in the trades. 

Rockey also enthusiastically endorsed the creation of a so-called “Hydrogen Hub” to manufacture carbon-free fuel, a major industrial goal of the Biden administration that has won the support of present County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Gov. Josh Shapiro. Rockey’s opponent, Sara Innamorato, has voiced opposition to such a project, despite its promise of thousands of jobs in both construction and later staffing of the facility. 

“It is a false dichotomy to say we can’t have good jobs and a clean environment. The successful transition from coal to natural gas has shown that we can accomplish this. We have to stop looking for reasons to say ‘no’ to economic growth,” Rockey said. 

“The Hydrogen Hub is a clear example of common-sense economic development shared by the majority of Democrats and Republicans alike. It’s bigger than politics and shouldn’t be stymied for cynical, political advantage.” 

Rockey also promised to launch what he termed “The 100-Company Project.” He said he would market the region to 100 top companies and act as the county’s “top salesman.”

A retired top executive with PNC, one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, Rockey was born and raised in the North Side, the son of a union Democrat. He has stressed that he is a political moderate able to work with both parties as well as business and labor to reverse job decline, restore public safety and end politics-as-usual in Allegheny County. 



Press Release

Rockey: Latest county jail death points to systemic failures


September 13, 2023

PITTSBURGH – Joe Rockey, Republican nominee for Allegheny County Executive, today issued the following statement regarding the latest reported death at the Allegheny County Jail:

“It is intolerable that we have added yet another name to the list of those who have died in county jail custody. The facility is understaffed, its employees overwhelmed and the failure is originating from the top. As County Executive, I will ensure a full complement of employees and provide the needed support for employees there. It is one of the reasons I was proud to be endorsed by the 400 members of the Allegheny County Prison Employees Independent Union.”