PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Retired Pittsburgh Police officer Tony Moreno says he will run for mayor of Pittsburgh this fall.
Moreno, a Democrat, won the Republican nomination on a write-in and is switching his parties to face off against the Democratic nominee, Rep. Ed Gainey.READ MORE: Mayoral Candidate Tony Moreno Could Run As A Republican In November
Moreno says this election offers a clear choice for city voters.
“I will protect you Pittsburgh,” he said.
At a press conference in Homewood on Tuesday, Moreno zeroed in on public safety and rising crime as the key issue in his campaign against Gainey, who defeated Mayor Bill Peduto in the Democratic primary.
“The Democrat Party establishment decided to reject my campaign for One Great Pittsburgh for yet another career politician who wants to divide this city,” said Moreno.
Moreno said city residents would be safer with him as mayor.READ MORE: Tony Moreno Says He’s Considering Accepting Republican Nomination For Pittsburgh Mayor
Jon Delano: “Do you believe a police officer would make a better mayor than the Democratic nominee, a state representative?”
Moreno: “Oh without a doubt. I know that I’m the better option. I’m the only option here now, Jon. There’s a contrast. You see somebody who wants to defund the police, who has socialists in his committee, who has socialist values.”
Moreno says he wants to bring Pittsburgh together, not divide the city along political lines.
“Ed Gainey said he was left of Bill Peduto but not a socialist, but his entire organization is made up of the self-claimed socialist Democrats,” said Moreno.
Moreno says his strong support among the Democratic committee with 7,400 Democratic voters and now with Republicans gives him a chance to win in a city where the last Republican was elected mayor in 1929.
“The politics of the day are being wiped out now. Now that the incumbent is done, it’s just two people who are running in stark contrast. You have a very clear option of how you want your city to go forward,” said Moreno.
KDKA’s Jon Delano reached out to the Gainey campaign for reaction to Moreno’s comments. They sent a statement saying: “Representative Gainey welcomes Mr. Moreno to the race and looks forward to a positive general election campaign in which he’ll continue to talk about his vision for uniting our city and building a Pittsburgh for all.”