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Joe Rockey Affiliates with Forward Party, Expanding His Coalition Built to Return Consensus Governance to Allegheny County

September 21, 2023

Forward Party grows in Allegheny County, backs former business executive with a cross-partisan supporter base looking for a return to pragmatic solutions



Pittsburgh, PA – Allegheny County Executive candidate Joe Rockey has officially affiliated with the Forward Party today, deciding to run his campaign as a Forward Republican. The Forward Party’s endorsement of Rockey joins its recent backing of District Attorney Zappala, bringing a slate of candidates to Allegheny County that have broad appeal and a proven track record of finding shared ground solutions to big problems.

At an event announcing the affiliation, Forward Party co-Chair Andrew Yang highlighted Joe Rockey’s experience in business and his endorsements that span the political spectrum, including local unions and small business owners. Joe Rockey’s platform that focuses on real solutions to pressing problems in Allegheny County, including public safety, jobs, and tax reform, fits right in with the ethos at the heart of the Forward Party. He’s a voice of moderation in a county that has seen increasing problems driven by politicians who are more interested in scoring partisan points than serving the people of Pennsylvania’s second largest county.

Said Forward Party co-Chair and former governor of neighboring New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman: “In a time where politicians are more interested in promoting ideology than solving problems, Joe’s proven track record in business shows that he’s going to get things done. The people of Allegheny County are facing unprecedented challenges, and they’re looking for a leader who will focus on real solutions and consensus. Joe is that leader.”

Joe Rockey joins other Forward Affiliates and elected candidates across the country, including mayors, members of city councils, and state legislators from California, Florida, and Arizona, among others. The Forward Party is built around shared values rather than a set of policy prescriptions, allowing local leaders to focus on solutions that will work in their communities. The Party’s focus on values allows our elected officials to work across the aisle to find shared solutions rather than engaging in partisan fighting tied to ideologies that fail to produce results for Americans.

Forward Affiliates are elected officials who retain their party registration with one of the two major parties, but publicly join with Forward and pledge to govern according to this values-based platform:


Forward empowers leaders to find solutions that work in their communities. We won’t dictate a rigid, top-down policy platform and expect it to work for all Americans.


Forward welcomes new ideas and fearless conversations around the issues of the day. We won’t silence debate or refuse to adapt to the modern world.


Forward strives for collaborative solutions. We’ll make sure they work, and we’ll try something else if they don’t.


Forward is creating a political home for everyone willing to work together in good faith to find practical ways to make this country better.


Forward is asking what we can do for your community. We will not ask what your community can do for us.


Forward believes in approaching one another with grace and tolerance, finding ways to pick people back up rather than knock them down.


Forward supports election reform policies such as ranked-choice voting and open, nonpartisan primaries to bring more competition and better options to the ballot in local elections.

As more and more Americans grow sick of the outdated two-party system in this country, more and more elected officials are finding a welcoming home in the Forward Party. “We’re seeing an unprecedented number of elected leaders reach out to us, tired of being told what’s best for their constituents by out of touch party leaders,” said Lindsey Williams Drath, Forward Party’s CEO. “We believe that voters put people in office in order to solve their problems, and the Forward Party is creating space for these public servants to do just that, without requiring them to adopt policy positions they don’t believe in or know won’t work just to toe the party line.”

The Forward Party is bringing moderates, conservatives, and progressives together to heal our political divisions, find our shared ground, and create a brighter future for America. Forward Party candidates are accountable to the voters, and they will focus on solutions, not partisan fighting, in order to serve their constituents better.

For more information about the Forward Party, please read through our Prospectus and Q1 Fact Sheet.