PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a reason Bill Peduto used a city street sweeper as a symbol of his campaign.
“A lot of what has occurred over the past several years has given whoever the next mayor is a mandate to clean up city hall,” said Peduto at his first post-election press conference Wednesday afternoon. “To make changes that people do expect, and to not allow this kind of behavior to continue with a new administration.”
The Democratic nominee, Peduto knows odds favor his election to succeed Luke Ravenstahl.
In a sit-down interview with Peduto, KDKA political editor Jon Delano asked Peduto about the mayor.
Delano: “He didn’t call you last night to congratulate you or this morning?”
Peduto: “No, there hasn’t been a call. I’m not really surprised.”
Ravenstahl spent tens of thousands of dollars in attack ads against Peduto, which Peduto says, ironically, helped him win 52 percent of the vote.
“To be honest, Jon, I think it helped our campaign. It wasn’t something that was unexpected. We had heard he was going to do it. I think it was so over the top and so negative that it had the bounceback effect,” noted Peduto.
If elected, Peduto promises that every department of city government will be overhauled, including the police.
“People want to see change and they want to see it rather quickly and rather significantly.”
And another change — no active duty police bodyguards.
“I’d rather have somebody who is retired than anybody who should be on the streets of Pittsburgh,” he said.
Of course, Peduto knows he’s not elected mayor yet.
He will return to his City Council office Thursday, and begin work on how to reshape the structure, operations and personnel of city government if elected in November.
Late this afternoon, Mayor Ravenstahl sent out a statement congratulating Peduto and all the primary winners, promising a “smooth transition” next fall.