Sara Innamorato elected Allegheny County Executive

Innamorato beat Republican Joe Rockey by a slim margin, according to unofficial tallies.

By: - November 7, 2023 9:58 pm

Sara Innamorato (campaign photo)

Democrat Sara Innamorato is the projected winner of the Allegheny County Executive race, the first woman to ever hold the position. The Associated Press called the race for Innamorato shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday. She defeated Republican Joe Rockey by what appeared to be a slim margin, according to unofficial tallies.

“This victory is yours,” Innamorato told an election night audience at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale. “It’s a testament to your experience and your work and your dedication and the belief in the vision that we can ensure that we create a county where everyone can thrive.”

Innamorato, a former state representative, beat several Allegheny County Democratic stalwarts in the May primary, edging out Allegheny County Treasurer John K. Weinstein and Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb. Her win was the latest in a slew of victories for the progressive wing of Allegheny County’s Democratic party, which included Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, and U.S. Rep. Summer Lee.

“I stand here as the first woman Allegheny County executive,” Innamorato said Tuesday night. “I stand here because of the passion, faith and support of the people around me, and a  lot of them are women.”

Sara Innamorato celebrates her win at an election night event at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale (screen capture)

Rockey, a retired PNC Bank executive, ran unopposed for the Republican nomination. He received several key labor endorsements, and campaign financial disclosures show he raised $1.6 million in the most recent quarter, compared to Innamorato’s $650,000. 

“Today we made history. We elected our first woman county executive,” Lt. Gov. Austin Davis told the audience at Innamorato’s election night event. “But more than that, I’ve had the privilege of serving with Sara in Harrisburg. We elected someone who’s gonna work like hell for working-class people here in Allegheny County. We elected a compassionate, thoughtful leader who will help make sure we create an Allegheny County that works for each and every one of us.”

Democrats outnumber Republicans in Allegheny County by a margin of 2 to 1, and Jim Roddey is the only Republican to ever hold the county’s top office since its establishment by home rule charter in 2000. 

“We are at our best when the people in pain are closest to the power and this campaign has always been about people,” Innamorato said Tuesday. “It’s about the idea that everyone deserves a seat at the table, regardless of their background identity or circumstances.”

This story was updated at 11:31 p.m. 

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Kim Lyons
Kim Lyons

Kim Lyons is a veteran western Pennsylvania journalist who has covered people and trends in politics and business for local and national publications. Follow her on Threads @social_kimly