Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says he's optimistic about Gainey's leadership of the city.By Kristine Sorensen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Ed Gainey has already been meeting with local leaders as he prepares to begin what will most likely be his new role as mayor of Pittsburgh in 2022.

Gainey won the Democratic nomination for mayor of Pittsburgh last month and is expected to win in the November election.

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KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen talked with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who will work closely with Gainey when he takes office.

The voters spoke with their ballots, saying they wanted someone new to lead Pittsburgh.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says he’s had a good working relationship with Gainey over his five terms as a state representative, and he’s optimistic about his leadership of the city.

“I’ve been impressed with the fact that after the election, he’s reached out to a whole lot of people wanting to — understanding that people are supportive of the current administration, but he’s reaching out to make sure that we are a city that comes together and is all working together,” said Fitzgerald.

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Fitzgerald had a close relationship with Mayor Bill Peduto, and they worked together on many fronts. He believes we’ll look back on Peduto’s eight years in office as an important period in the city’s history, especially when you look at communities like East Liberty, Lawrenceville and the Hill District.

“It’s historic. I mean we’ve seen so many changes and positive growth and opportunities in neighborhoods that we never saw before,” said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald says the historic nature of Gainey’s likely election as the first Black mayor of Pittsburgh is also significant from a symbolic standpoint.

“I think that sends a signal to other parts of the community and even other parts of the country that Pittsburgh is changing and is a welcoming city for people of all colors.”

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Fitzgerald says Pittsburgh has not always had a good reputation when it comes to race relations and he’s hopeful Gainey’s leadership will change that.

Kristine Sorensen