PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was a strong showing of support for Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Bill Peduto from elected officials, labor unions, and community leaders — what Peduto calls a new coalition for a new Pittsburgh.

“I just want to savor this moment,” said Peduto as he turned to face his supporters, ” because this is a coalition of all of us working together — different battles which each of us had where we have been allies over years and years of supporting each other.”

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“And I get to stand to be here today as a new team comes together, a new coalition for a new Pittsburgh,” he added.

Led by supporter-in-chief Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County’s executive, a number of officials hailed Peduto’s ability to work with others.

“We look forward to the ongoing working relationship with Bill Peduto and a city administration that participates with the conversation in Harrisburg,” noted PA Sen. Jay Costa, the Senate Democratic Leader.

“This is how you build a coalition — you have north, south, east, and west,” added PA Rep. Erin Molchany of Mt. Washington.

“I’m supporting Bill Peduto because I know he can built that coalition,” exclaimed city Councilman Patrick Dowd of Highland Park, who himself ran for mayor four years ago.  “Look who’s here.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There is more.”

And one official framed the election exactly the way Peduto sees it.

“We need a mayor that has a vision, a mayor that knows how to grow this community,” declared PA Rep. Ed Gainey of Lincoln/Lemington.  “And this election is really quite simple.  Do we as a city move back, or do we move forward.”

Peduto says his opponent Jack Wagner may have gotten some early momentum but asked, “Who has a coalition that’s built around the future of the city of Pittsburgh and who has the support of those who have supported the past administration?  I think when people start focusing in on this race, momentum will shift again.”

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And morphing Wagner into incumbent Mayor Luke Ravenstahl seems part of the game plan.

“We have built a new coalition stronger than the Ravenstahl coalition, and even with Jack getting on board with the Ravenstahl team, we still have a coalition that can beat it,” said Peduto.

It is true that many of Ravenstahl’s supporters do back Jack Wagner.

But the mayor himself has not.  In fact, today he said he would not endorse any candidate for mayor.

Peduto like Wagner knows the key is who votes. Of the 153,000 Democrats in the city, perhaps 50,000 to 60,000 will cast a ballot.

The election is less than four weeks away on May 21st.


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