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.