PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — City Controller Michael Lamb has won the Democratic Party’s official endorsement for mayor of Pittsburgh.
Turns out the other announced candidates — Bill Peduto and Jack Wagner — never sought it.
So what does this endorsement really mean?
More than 600 Pittsburgh Democratic Committee members voted on Sunday to make Lamb their candidate.
“I’m proud to be a Democrat and honored to be the chosen candidate of the Democratic Committee,” said Lamb. “There are few endorsements that carry the weight that this does in a Democratic Primary.”
But how much weight is that?
“Michael will have benefit of e-blasts from the party, he’ll have party support, he’ll be on the slate cards and I think it will be to his advantage,” Nancy Mills, chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.
But that’s less important today, says Duquesne Law professor Joe Mistick.
“It’s not worth that huge flood of votes that one used to get for being the Democratic Party endorsed candidate,” said Mistick.
Mistick was top aide to Mayor Sophie Masloff who won her primary without party endorsement, as did other mayors like Dick Caliguiri and Pete Flaherty.
“I think as many as seven of the nine council members, currently sitting council members, ran without the endorsement and won,” said Mistick.
And Lamb’s endorsement won’t keep Councilman Peduto or former Auditor General Wagner — both announced candidates — out of the race, as Lamb recognized on Sunday.
“I welcome everybody into this race,” Lamb said.
One endorsement nobody expects — Luke Ravenstahl’s — whose candidate Dan Onorato won’t run.
“If there are five, six, seven candidates, I’ll probably stay out of it,” the mayor said on Monday.
With other candidates expected to file by Tuesday night’s deadline, the final endorsement will be up to the city’s 150,000 Democrats of whom about 60,000 can be expected to vote on May 21st.
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