OAN’s Roy Francis
10:38 AM – Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Left-wing Pittsburgh public defender, Matt Dugan, who had received more than $700,000 from George Soros won Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Allegheny County district attorney position.
With 1,276 precinct reporting, Dugan had led Stephen Zappala, who had been serving in the position for 26 years, by almost 19,000 votes.
Dugan said that the results were not surprising and that he had been connecting with his community and the message he was delivering resonated with the residents of the community.
“I feel great. I feel great. We’ve been out campaigning since August, early September, everywhere in the county. We’ve spoken to every community, every borough, every township,” Dugan said. “We did really well in the suburban areas, really well in the mail-ins, which is where we were thinking we might be behind and we did really well. People favor criminal justice reform. I feel confident our message will carry through.”
Dugan has been Allegheny County’s chief public defender, his office represents those unable to afford a criminal defense attorney. During the campaign, Dugan had promised to move the DA’s office away from prosecuting low-level non-violent criminals. He said that his office will not be criminally prosecuting but instead treating them for issues emanating from mental health, drug abuse and poverty.
Dugan had also received significant support from billionaire George Soros. According to the Pittsbrugh Post-Gazette, Soros had given over $750,000 to the Pennsylvania Justice and Public Safety PAC in March. The PAC had in turn contributed over $730,000 to Dugan’s campaign.
The money received by the Dugan campaign covered the costs of TV advertisements, research, and polling, without those funds, Zappala’s campaign was ahead in funding.
Zappala’s campaign spokesperson criticized Dugan for accepting the contribution from Soros, saying that if he gets elected, then Soros will “run his office.”
“It says a lot about [Matt Dugan] that he would allow one dark money group funded by one billionaire control every aspect of his campaign,” Mike Mikus tweeted out. “He’s letting this out of town group control his campaign leaves no doubt they’ll control his office if he’s elected.”
Zappala on the other hand, told KDKA News that he plans to run as a Republican in November so he had garnered enough votes on the Republican ballot.
“I apologize to my friends and supporters that we didn’t have a stronger showing this evening,” Zappala said. “But I tell you what, if we stick around to the November race, we are going to kick some (expletive) and take some names.”
Zappala was then asked if he would change anything about his campaign.
“Quite frankly,” he answered. “I think that was the biggest mistake we made to this point being district attorney: we have not talked about everything that has crossed our desk and come through that office and that has changed this community.”
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