PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On the last day before polls open, Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Jack Wagner enjoyed a dance and some laughs with seniors at a Mt. Washington senior center.
Bill Peduto spent the day hitting city neighborhoods with his symbolic city hall street sweeper, hopping out to greet voters.
But the fun of the last day couldn’t quite mask that this has been one of the most negative campaigns for mayor in recent history.
“Bill Peduto started the negative ads. He was the first out of the box,” Wagner told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
“Whenever we did comparisons, we compared it on what we did in city hall and what jack did in city hall or the state capital,” responded Peduto.
“We never allowed personal issues to come up. Unfortunately, they chose to go a different way, and I think it backfired,” he added.
“When someone starts telling lies about you, you have to go back correcting the story, the information,” replied Wagner.
In a new radio ad, Wagner calls Peduto a liar for claiming he favored cuts in meals on wheels.
“There are liars, damned liars and Bill Peduto,” intones the announcer.
Wagner: “We had to correct the record, and we did.”
Delano: “Is he a liar?”
Wagner: “On those issues, absolutely.”
Increasing the negativity, says Peduto, was Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s non-stop attack ads on Peduto.
“Between Wagner and Ravenstahl, they’ve spent over double the money we have on TV and radio,” noted Peduto.
But despite the negativity, all four candidates, including Jake Wheatley and A. J. Richardson, hope voters return to positive themes.
On Tuesday, city Democrats will decide whether to sweep the city clean with Bill Peduto or go the more steady-as-you-go approach of Jack Wagner.
About 55,000 Democrats are expected to vote.