PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Longtime City Councilman Bill Peduto has won the Democratic nomination for mayor, defeating former state auditor general Jack Wagner and state Rep. Jake Wheatley.
Peduto is vying to succeed incumbent Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election, and the winner of the primary was all but certain to be elected in November in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1.
“We stood up and we said our rivers are not seas, and our hills are not mountains, we are one Pittsburgh and we’ll fight for a new Pittsburgh and we did it,” Peduto said in his acceptance speech Tuesday night.
Watch David Highfield’s report from the Peduto HQ:
Peduto’s victory was seen as a surprise given that both of Pittsburgh’s daily newspapers — the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review — endorsed Wagner who had served two terms as auditor general, served in the state senate and had sought the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2010.
KDKA political editor Jon Delano says the win was partly attributed to his grassroots campaign, which allowed him to scoop up many of the undecided voters.
Despite losing the nomination, officials with Wagner’s campaign say they’re proud of the work they’ve accomplished in such a short time.
Watch Kym Gable’s report from the Wagner HQ:
“Obviously we were kind of a late entrance into the race,” said Wagner Campaign Manager J.J. Abbott. “We really built a whole operation in like 75 days. So, you know, we feel really good about this — the campaign and how it went — considering that time frame. These kinds of campaigns usually come together in six months, instead of 75 days.”
Wagner also said he wished more people would have voted in the primary election.
“Not many people vote,” he said. “I mean, when you really look at a mayor’s race in the city of Pittsburgh and you get 20,000 votes and you win, that’s really unbelievable. I’m disappointed in the voter turnout and at the same time, I very much thank everyone that supported me.”
The only Republican candidate, Josh Wander, faced no primary opposition.
Watch analysis from Political Editor Jon Delano:
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