PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will not run for re-election, he announced Friday.
Speculation has been brewing since sources said the mayor had planned to make a major announcement Thursday.
Ravenstahl had also been noticeably absent from recent public appearances.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan Reports:
That announcement finally came at a press conference Friday, when he said he would finish out his current term and that he was proud of the work he has accomplished in his time as mayor, but “this success, however, comes at a cost.”
He indicated that the burden of his job had become too great for him and his family, but said he was happy with his decision.
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“This is a day that I’m excited about,” he said.
It was rumored that pressure from the ongoing investigation into the Police Bureau and alleged misuse of funds would be the reason Ravenstahl would not seek re-election. However, he said the investigation is not the reason for his decision, saying, “I have done nothing wrong.”
VIDEO: Mayor makes his announcement:
“Over time the truth will prevail and it will come out,” he later added.
With his mother and father standing by, the mayor said he has grown weary of fending off the constant questions and their toll on him and his family.
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Despite saying that the FBI investigation into the Police Bureau was not the reason for his withdrawal, members of the media repeatedly asked if it played any part in his decision.
Ravenstahl said that there was no specific reason for his withdrawal, but he has felt like he should leave office for a long time and had been fighting that feeling.
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The mayor had often been taken to task for his youthful exploits and accused of being too immature for the job. But he gave a litany of his own achievements ranging from the Pittsburgh Promise to his role in stemming population loss and fostering re-development.
In the end, he said he was grateful to have risen so high at such a young age.
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However, Ravenstahl officially threw in his bid for the mayoral race just 10 days ago.
When asked what happened in those 10 days, he said, “it just became clear to me that the price was too high to continue … my timing is not too good.”
VIDEO: Mayor addresses questions about the FBI’s investigation:
He also said he was not scared of losing, but rather had never felt so competent in his ability to win.
It was also rumored that Ravenstahl would step down amidst news that his mom had a major health problem.
He did allude to his mother having “medical issues,” but did not cite that as the reason for his withdrawal from the mayoral race and said, “my mom looks amazing.”
When asked what he planned to do after his term is over, Ravenstahl only said that he would be a T-ball coach and had not made any other plans.
KDKA’s Ken Rice Reports:
Ravenstahl first announced that he would run for re-election during a taping of the KD/PG Sunday Edition in November.
Ravenstahl has been mayor since 2006, when former mayor Bob O’Connor unexpectedly died.
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