PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Josh Wander, the Republican candidate for mayor of Pittsburgh, has sold his Squirrel Hill home and moved his family to Israel — at least temporarily.
So when KDKA political editor Jon Delano reached him overseas by phone, the question was obvious.
Delano: “Are you still a candidate for mayor of Pittsburgh?”
Wander: “Absolutely. One-hundred percent. I am a candidate. I am on the ballot. I am someone who believes is a viable candidate.”
Wander — who has both Israeli and American citizenship — has rented a home in the city and maintains his legal residence here, but says his work requires him to be out of the country.
“My job is working in security consulting and, unfortunately, we live in precarious times here in the Middle East — was actually brought first to Russia, now I’m in Israel. I may be going to other countries. I can’t be specific about it, unfortunately. It’s sensitive matter, but all I can say is that it is my job.”
Wander is perhaps best known for his appearance in one episode of the National Geographic series, Doomsday Preppers.
“I am preparing for a series of catastrophic terrorist attacks that will fundamentally change our lives as we know it,” Wander says on that show.
So his knowledge of security issues is real.
‘The only difference between me and my opponent is that I’m not a career politician. I actually work for a living,” notes the Republican. “This happens. It’s an inconvenient time for it to happen during the middle of a campaign, but I’m not going to quit my day job until I’m elected mayor.”
And Wander says he will return to Pittsburgh for most of the scheduled debates he has with his Democratic opponent, Bill Peduto.
“We’re trying to do whatever we can from here. Between myself here on top of every tweet and everything that is going on Pittsburgh and my loyal campaign staff there, I think we have everything under control.”