ON THE SIDE. . .
This and that from the world of Valley politics.
SLIGHT FAVORITE: Jackie Dell, who's set odds for sporting events and political races for more than 50 years, says U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, a Concord Township Republican, is a slight favorite to defeat Capri Cafaro of Hunting Valley, his Democratic challenger in the 14th Congressional District race. Dell, who splits his time between Youngstown and Las Vegas, said the opening line has LaTourette as a 7-5 favorite. That means you'd have to wager $7 to win $5. Cafaro's odds are 5-6, meaning you'd have to wager $5 to win $6.
Dell, who knows members of Cafaro's family, said the Democrat is working exceptionally hard, and is putting up a good battle. But LaTourette's experience, incumbency, and proven ability to raise money makes him the favorite. The odds can change as the campaign progresses.
Dell doesn't condone betting on political races -- although several Internet gambling sites are taking action on the presidential election -- but he enjoys handicapping candidates in competitive races.
Dell has Democrat John Kerry as a 9-5 favorite to beat President Bush. Dell received national recognition in 1992 when he made Bill Clinton a heavy 4-1 favorite. The line was carried in dozens of newspapers at the time.