PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If State Representative Eugene DePasquale’s name has a familiar ring, it might be because his grandfather is the late Pittsburgh City Council President Eugene ‘Jeep’ DePasquale.
“Growing up it was an interesting experience,” recalls the younger DePasquale with a laugh. “Just seeing it on TV.”
The always colorful “Jeep” DePasquale went at it with reporters. He once had a confrontation with KDKA-TV’s Paul Martino.
“Why you getting close to me?” the late DePasquale yelled at Martino years ago. “You going to attack me?”
“I’m not coming close to you,” Martino insisted at the time.
The “Jeep” DePasquale also targeted then Councilwoman Michelle Madoff.
“She looks like a woman on occasion, but I don’t even know if she is one. I’m not quite sure,” the late DePasquale said. That statement resulted in a lawsuit.
When the younger DePasquale was elected State Representative from York County, he says his grandpa told him to learn how to keep his mouth shut.
“It was a different era of politics for both some of the good stuff and some of the stuff that maybe wouldn’t be so easy to do today as well,” says the younger DePasquale.
Now, in an interview with KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano, the 39-year-old Democrat says he’s considering a run for State Auditor General next spring.
“With Tom Corbett as Governor, and I have enormous respect for the Governor even though I have strong disagreements, we need someone who is going to hold him accountable,” says DePasquale. “And I believe I’m the right person to do that. And we have complete Republican control of the legislature and the executive branch, and I think it’s important that someone be a tough fiscal watchdog.”
DePasquale understands that Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato is also looking at this seat, but he says his experience as a deputy secretary and then a legislator gives him unique qualifications.
“I know how those programs are supposed to work and if they’re not working, I’ll be able to hold those programs accountable,” says DePasquale.
Visible in central Pennsylvania, DePasquale hopes his grandpa’s name will help him here.
“He would tell, if he were alive, the same thing as anyone else, ‘All that does is get you in the door, you still have to make the case yourself.'”
DePasquale is making that case now to anyone who’ll listen.
His views are not always those of his late grandfather, who was very pro-union and socially conservative.
DePasquale sees himself as a reformer, more pro-business and moderate on social issues.
DePasquale says it doesn’t matter what Onorato decides to do. He’ll make his decision on whether to run for Auditor General later this year.