While all was pleasant and civil during welcoming remarks from host Tim Stevens of the Black Political Empowerment Project, a description of the event by League of Women Voters President Annette Shimer, an introduction of moderator and KDKA Money and Politics Editor John Delano by Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh President and CEO Esther Bush, and even through statements supporting Josh Shapiro for Attorney General by Dr. Cyril Wecht, and Katie McGinty by John Fetterman, it didn’t extend much further—even though it was graciously hosted by the Church of the Reconciliation.
The Great Debate between veteran incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., and his Republican challenger Lenny McAllister began with Doyle saying he is proud to serve the district, having brought in $75 million to the district, and wants to continue to do so.
McAllister immediately fired the first volley by asking the audience if their lives, schools neighborhoods and career opportunities have gotten any better during the 22 years Doyle has represented the district.
“Is this as good as it’s going to get, or can we have more,” he asked.
Doyle said that when he worked with the (Bill) Clinton administration the district prospered, it was only under Republican President George W. Bush that the district and region began “bleeding” jobs.