Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Insider/February 2005 - Stan Rapp Backing Jeff Piccola

The Insider/February 2005: "Piccola’s conversion in January to pro-life after a two-decade record of pro-choice politics, and leading the fight against Gov. Bob Casey’s abortion control in 1989, has gone fairly smoothly.

Scranton has raised the most money, but each side has lined up the beginnings of a team. Scranton has Congressman Don Sherwood’s top political staffer, Jerry Morgan and former Allegheny County party executive director Mike DeVanney, both highly regarded. And David Girard-diCarlo, Ridge’s top fund-raiser.
But Swann has the most highly-regarded Ridge insider/politico, former chief of staff Mark Holman, and is beginning to flesh out his team, approaching consultant Arthur Finkelstein (who launched the careers of New York Sen. Al D’Amato and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, among others) and sources said he will eventually tap Ray Zaborney, a protégé of Kent Gates, Mike Long and Morgan, to run the campaign day to day.

Piccola also has names that insiders respect: PR man Chris Bravacos, a key early figure in the Ridge campaign and administration; lobbyist Stan Rapp of Greenlee Partners and strategist Dean Ouellette.

At this point, insiders say the race revolves around two questions: Can Piccola raise enough money to impress state committee members who like him that he can really challenge Rendell? And will Swann actually run?"

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