PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — During the campaign, the two seemed inseparable — Rich Fitzgerald and Bill Peduto — politically attached at the hips.
Fitzgerald was Peduto’s first and most vocal supporter, even when everyone thought Luke Ravenstahl would win re-election.
On Friday afternoon, Fitzgerald talked to KDKA political editor Jon Delano about the relationship: “Do you think you have a bromance with Bill Peduto?”
Laughing, Fitzgerald responded: “I don’t know what that means. We have a relationship.”
That relationship goes back years, as both live in the same part of the city.
“I worked with Bill for many years,” said Fitzgerald. “Our districts overlapped. When I was on county council, he was on city council. I saw his passion, I saw his energy, I saw his love for this city.”
While Dan Onorato — for a time — had an uncle-nephew relationship with Ravenstahl, the Fitzgerald-Peduto relationship is a partnership.
Delano: “You like this guy?”
Fitzgerald: “I do, and I also like the team that Bill put around him, and I’m glad to be part of that team.”
The county exec does not expect to dictate to the new mayor — or agree all the time.
“Of course we’ll disagree,” noted Fitzgerald. “I disagree with my wife, my family members.”
There’s no doubt that Fitzgerald’s early and strong support for Bill Peduto has increased his own political power in this region. But Fitzgerald says it will also pay dividends to all the residents of Allegheny County.
“For us to move forward as a region, we’ve got to do it in partnership. And if people are going different ways and battling each other over initiatives we should all be coming together on, then we’re going to fail.”
Fitzgerald insists this political power is to get things done, not run for higher office.
“People say to me, now that you did this, are you going to run for governor, are you going to run for the U.S. Senate? I have no interest in doing that,” Fitzgerald said. “No, I want to work with a partner in the city of Pittsburgh, partners around this region.”