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Sara Innamorato rejects Joe Rockey's criticism in Allegheny County executive race

Sara Innamorato rejects Joe Rockey's criticism in Allegheny County executive race
Sara Innamorato rejects Joe Rockey's criticism in Allegheny County executive race 03:00

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- In her first sit-down television interview since the primary, Democrat Sara Innamorato rejected a number of charges from her Republican opponent, Joe Rockey. She says she's the right fit for Allegheny County executive.

In the contested Allegheny County executive race, when KDKA-TV political editor Jon Delano sat down with Rockey, who calls himself a centrist Republican who would never support Donald Trump, Rockey was quick to label Innamorato.

"Both the left and the right have a fringe on the far side that are preventing us from moving this country forward and will prevent us from moving the county forward. My opponent is from that far leftwing," Rockey said.  

Delano: "Are you a Democratic socialist?"

Innamorato: "I am a Democrat. If you look me up in the voter rolls, you'll see Democrat next to my name."

Delano: "Are you a socialist?"

Innamorato: "No, I'm not. I'm a Democrat."

Innamorato makes no apologies for her progressive views and says she has Republican support too.

"People have voted for Republicans up the ballot and then they vote for me, and what they say is, 'you care about my family. You care about my community,'" Innamorato said.    

Rockey claims Innamorato is beholden to one union that pumped thousands into her campaign: the Service Employees International Union or SEIU.

"The SEIU is having an undue influence on the city of Pittsburgh, and one of the biggest supporters of my opponent is the SEIU, and I believe they are doing that with the view that they will have the same influence on Allegheny County," Rockey said. 

Delano: "Will the SEIU be running Allegheny County if you're elected?"

Innamorato: "I'm incredibly proud to be the most pro-union candidate."

Innamorato says her hiring will be dictated by a transition team looking for the most qualified individuals, not union membership.

Rockey, a 59-year-old retired senior PNC Bank executive, says voters should worry his 37-year-old opponent has never run anything like a $3 billion county government with 7,500 employees like he has at PNC.

Delano: "Is that a fair criticism?"

Innamorato: "So I'm the only person in this race who has been in elected office and who has been able successfully to work with various levels of government, community stakeholders, people across political ideologies to write transformative legislation, to pass it."

The Democrat says her opponent, a business executive, has no elective or governmental experience like she has.

Voters will choose between Democrat Innamorato and Republican Rockey on Nov. 7.   

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