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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For days, protesters have put pressure on District Attorney Stephen Zappala to prosecute East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld for shooting Antwon Rose.
On Tuesday outside the County Courthouse where Zappala has his office, protesters shouted, “Hey, hey, ho, ho. Steve Zappala has got to go.”
Now they say they have a candidate to take on Zappala in next spring’s Democratic primary.
“For the first time we have someone running against him,” said one of the protesters.
So who might that be?
Well, an official announcement is expected soon.
A number of community activists put out word on Facebook that the announcement of Zappala’s opponent would be made at Freedom Corner at 6:30 p.m. next Monday, July 2.
The list of those hosting the event includes Leon Ford, Bret Grote, Brandi Fisher, Carl Redwood, Jasiri Orande, Sara Innamorato and Summer Lee.
The latter two hosts, with the support of the Democratic Socialists of Pittsburgh, just defeated two Costas, PA Reps. Dom Costa and Paul Costa, in the primary for state House.
So who is their likely candidate against Zappala?
KDKA-TV has learned one person carefully considering the run is Turahn Jenkins, Allegheny County’s chief deputy public defender.
Jenkins has had a private criminal law defense practice, is an adjunct professor at Duquesne Law School and once worked as an assistant DA.
“He’s a good lawyer. A man of integrity. I think he may be able to beat Mr. Zappala,” says criminal defense attorney Chuck Hoebler.
But any run against Zappala is uphill.
He ran unopposed in his last five primaries.
“He will not be defeated. The Zappala name runs through this state. He has a lot of clout in Allegheny County,” says Mark Anthony McCune of Highland Park.
KDKA reached out to Jenkins but he did not return calls.
Zappala’s office said he would have no comment on politics, saying he was focused on the investigation into the death of Antwon Rose.