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Dan Onorato

Dan Onorato in a canoe in 2007

Allegheny County Chief Executive
Preceded by Jim Roddey

Political party Democrat
Residence Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Alma mater Penn State University
University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Daniel "Dan" Onorato (born 1961)[1] is the current Chief Executive of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It was announced October 6, 2009 that he will be a candidate for governor in 2010.[2]


Personal history

A life-long resident of Allegheny County, he attended Penn State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1983. He worked several years as a Certified Public Accountant before continuing his education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, earning a Juris Doctor in 1989.

Political career

Onorato marches with Senator Hillary Clinton in Pittsburgh's 2008 St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Onorato practiced as a private attorney until he was elected to the Pittsburgh City Council in 1991, serving two terms. In 2000, he was elected Allegheny County Controller. In 2003, he defeated Jim Roddey for the position of Allegheny County executive. He was named runner up for the 2003 Politician of the Year by the political website PoliticsPA, who noted his youthful energy and his fundraising power.[3]

He announced his endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton in her presidential bid on March 14, 2008, saying, "Hillary Clinton has the experience and the determination to clean up the mess in Washington and deliver results."[4]

Onorato and his wife Shelly reside in the Brighton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, with their children Kate, Emily, and Danny.[5]

He is a front-runner in 2010 election for Governor of Pennsylvania.[6]



Allegheny County drink tax controversy

Protest of the 2007 Allegheny County drink tax targeting Dan Onorato and Allegheny County Council members who approved the tax

In late 2007 Allegheny County received permission from the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pursue increased taxation of poured alcohol and rental cars to subsidize the Port Authority of Allegheny County.[7] Members of the Allegheny County Council and Onorato believed that such a tax was preferable to increasing county property taxes. After the 10% tax on poured alcohol passed, Allegheny County bar and restaurant owners protested the new tax, claiming that it would hurt this business.[8][1] A lawsuit by the bar and restaurant owners challenging the legality of the drink tax was thrown out by the courts, but they sought a referendum overturning the tax in the November 2008 general election.[9] Onorato subsequently withheld the funds raised by the drink tax from the Port Authority, demanding that the transit agency first restructure its labor costs.[10]

See also

External Links


Preceded by
Jim Roddey
Chief Executive of Allegheny County
Succeeded by


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