PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On two hours sleep after an long flight back from the Holy Land in Israel, former Auditor General Jack Wagner showed up at a meeting of the Allegheny County Labor Council late Friday afternoon.
It’s an important stop for anyone serious about running for mayor of Pittsburgh.
And Wagner — a former City Council president — is serious that because of the incumbent mayor’s decision, he’s got a good chance to lead this city.
While Wagner was in the Holy Land in Israel, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl decided not to run for re-election.
“Big change. No one expected that. I didn’t certainly,” Wagner told KDKA political editor Jon Delano. “And it opened a door for the primary election.”
Wagner says Ravenstahl’s decision made him rethink how he could serve Pittsburgh.
“I changed gears very quickly and made the decision in Israel to basically run for the Democratic primary and the Democratic nomination for mayor.”
Wagner, a Beechview native, has strong ties in the city.
“I love Pittsburgh. I have a passion to improve it. We have a great city and I would like to build upon its greatness. And I truly believe our local government can do better working in cooperation with the private sector, the nonprofit sector, the foundation community, neighborhood groups, our labor community.”