Friday, October 19, 2007

DeSantis and the blue wall

No doubt the Burgosphere is buzzing with the news that the city's chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed GOP candidate Mark DeSantis in the upcoming mayoral election. I have no idea what, historically, endorsements have meant in Pittsburgh elections. The conventional wisdom is that the firefighters' endorsement in 2001 tipped a close Democratic primary in favor of Tom Murphy over the late Bob O'Connor. (Keep in mind that endorsement came on the heels of a generous contract that Murphy negotiated with the union.)

One thing is certain -- the endorsement is sure to energize the DeSantis campaign and its supporters. The momentum is definitely on the side of the challenger, though how much that matters in this Democratic stronghold won't be apparent until the votes are counted. But it raises the question, at least for me, of who exactly is excited about voting for Luke Ravenstahl? That's not to say I think he will lose; he is still the overwhelming favorite, if for no other reason than mere political inertia. But who is enthused about pulling the lever -- er, I mean, touching the screen -- for the incumbent? And why would they be?

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