PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mayor Bill Peduto wants a third term as Pittsburgh’s mayor.
On Thursday afternoon, he announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination in the May primary. KDKA political editor Jon Delano reports it is likely others will oppose him.
“I am running for a third term as mayor of the City of Pittsburgh,” the mayor declared in a pre-recorded virtual town hall with supporters.
It took Peduto all of 67 seconds, and then he focused on the community leaders he had gathered.
“I appreciate the work that you’ve put in, in making your communities better. Over these past seven years, we have a number of examples,” said the mayor. “It’s not really the brick and mortar of development. It’s more about the people who call these neighborhoods home.”
The last year or so has not been easy for the mayor.
The pandemic has created a multi-million dollar hole in the city budget that could result in the layoff of hundreds of city workers, and last year’s racial protests, while generally peaceful, did result in violence and lotting, and protests outside the mayor’s home.
“We’ve got to start playing offense. And offense does not mean nor does it require violence to answer to violence,” the mayor said during his announcement.
“We have to substitute that lack of hope with an opportunity that everyone can see where their place is in the future, and we can do that through an aggressive economic development strategy that recognizes the importance of all individuals.”
The last mayor to win a third term was Mayor Tom Murphy 20 years ago, and he barely won, beating then-Councilman Bob O’Connor by just 699 votes.
This year, Peduto expects to be challenged, as some say he’s not progressive enough while others think he’s too liberal.
So far, retired police officer Tony Moreno of Brighton Heights and community activist Will Parker of the North Side, the nephew of Willie Stargell, have said they are running.
“We’re also dealing with the realities of the Black Lives Matter Movement and equity and justice,” said the mayor. “And in all those situations, no matter what the crisis that was thrown at us, we came back stronger. ”
There are no term limits for the mayor of Pittsburgh. The city’s longest-serving mayor was David Leo Lawrence, who was elected four times as mayor, although he resigned in 1959 during his fourth term to become the state’s governor.