PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s a ritual that we will see multiple times during the next few months — a candidate like Bill Peduto unveiling support from neighborhood community leaders.
But as candidates showcase that support, they will assert, as Peduto did Thursday, “We’re not running a campaign based on geography. We’re running a campaign based on a vision, and that goes to every neighborhood throughout the city.”
That’s what every candidate for mayor will say, including the two already announced — Peduto of Shadyside and Michael Lamb of Mt. Washington, as well as the possible candidates, like Ricky Burgess of North Point Breeze, Jim Ferlo of Highland Park, Wayne Fontana of Banksville, Darlene Harris of Troy Hill, Les Ludwig of Squirrel Hill, Bill Robinson of the Hill District, Jack Wagner of Beechview and Jake Wheatley of the Hill District.
Pittsburgh is really a collection of neighborhoods, and each of these politicians comes from a particular neighborhood. The candidate who wins the most support from the most neighborhoods will be the next mayor of Pittsburgh.
That’s why Peduto was pleased to show support from state Rep. Erin Molchany and City Council members Bruce Kraus and Natalia Rudiak.
“I’m honored to have three elected officials from the South Hills here today to publicly announce their endorsement,” noted Peduto.
A quick look at the city’s map of neighborhoods shows how important this coalition building will be.
But this is what you’ll hear from the candidates.
“It’s not about where you live. It’s where you stand,” he says.
Peduto is right that people should vote on the ideas and qualifications of the candidate, not their geographic residence. But it doesn’t always work that way, which is why announcements like the one Thursday can make a difference.
On Thursday afternoon, the results of the first poll among city Democrats was released.
Keystone Analytics polled 401 likely voters on Monday and Tuesday with these results: Peduto — 30 percent; Wagner — 20 percent; Lamb — 13 percent; Ferlo — seven percent; and Harris — five percent.
Now, it is early, and it is just a snapshot of this week.
The primary election is just under 11 weeks away on May 21.