Roberts, Wagner look to different futures

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A week after the 2011 Democratic Primary Election for Allegheny County Controller, Pennsylvania State Rep. Chelsa Wagner, primary winner and democratic candidate for the 2011 general election for Controller, said she will continue to use the campaign strategy that she used in the primary to carry her through the Nov. 8 election.

“(My) strategy is to build off the platform that was established in the primary and that is that the Controller must have a vision for the region and I believe the County Controller should be an advocate,” Wagner said.

ValerieMcDonaldRoberts
VALERIE MCDONALD ROBERTS

Wagner beat democratic opponents Valerie McDonald Roberts, manager of the Allegheny County Department of Real Estate, and George Matta, director of business development and community relations for the Rivers Casino, by receiving 71 percent of the democratic vote. Matta received 14 percent and Roberts received 13 percent of the vote, according to the county’s Division of Election.

“I feel the race went well. We worked to have a presence…and get our message across,” Wagner said. “My opponents were gracious in calling to congratulate me the night of the election.” She continued to say that she looks forward to working with them in the future. Along with other endorsements, Wagner was chosen to receive the democratic committee endorsement.

While she has high chances of pulling out another victory in November, Wanger is not jinxing her campaign by declaring a premature victory, but is declaring that if elected one of her first priorities would be implementing the use of technology in the controller office. She said doing so is a part of looking towards and moving government into the future. Along with the technology, Wagner also said as controller she would bring about more equitable distribution of contracts and bids, for instance to minority and women owned businesses, and more transparency within the office.

Wagner is not the only one looking toward the future, Roberts, who would have been the first African-American female county controller if elected, is already setting her eyes on future campaigns. She said after she takes some much needed time and things get back to normal, she will be revving back up for the fall election, where she will be behind Allegheny County Executive Democratic candidate Rich Fitzgerald and the entire democratic ticket.

“I plan to step off the roller coaster of the campaign. When you run an intensive campaign-it’s like riding a roller coaster over and over again-you need to get off and regain your balance,” she said. She said that her fall campaigning is just a dress rehearsal for the 2012 Presidential re-election campaign of President Barack Obama. Along with supporting the democratic candidates, Roberts plans to continue her work in the department of real estate.

She said although the odds may have been against her, since she did not have the democratic committee endorsement, she ran “not only to be a role model for others, but I ran to win, and to win based upon my qualifications, and my track record, to win to represent the majority of us all, Black and White, male and female, young and old who put in the hard work through the years to earn higher ground.”

Roberts said that the only thing she would change about her campaign strategy would be to start earlier. But when it comes to setting her sights on campaigning for another office, she said, “We’ll see you never know. I did not expect to run for this office (county controller). But I cross bridges when I come to them, I don’t look too far ahead.”

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