Harris Drops Out of Pittsburgh Mayoral Primary

Darlene Harris

Darlene Harris

City Council President Darlene Harris has withdrawn her name from the ballot in the race for Pittsburgh Mayor, bringing the number of Democrats down to five.

The change was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Wednesday was the final day for candidates to withdraw their names from the race. Remaining are: City Controller Michael Lamb, City Councilman Bill Peduto, school bus monitor AJ Richardson, former Pa. Auditor General Jack Wagner and state Rep. Jake Wheatley.

She was a long shot, pulling just 5% of the vote in the only independent poll of the race that included her name, despite her strong ties to organized labor.

Pittsburgh Council District 1

Pittsburgh’s 1st Council District

“It was hard to imagine her putting together a city-wide base,” said one Democratic operative. “Her votes would have come from her district.”

Harris’ 1st district comprises most of the city’s North Side.

Her departure complicates the crowded primary, particularly the emerging two-man battle between Peduto and Wagner.

Every Pittsburgh politico PoliticsPA spoke with said Harris’ departure benefits Wagner more.

“My guess is, working class, white voters – they go to Jack,” said the operative about North Side voters.

It underscores the central challenge facing Peduto, whose base includes white collar and progressive voters.

“If [Peduto] makes inroads into her district, he’ll be in good shape in other areas, too. Whether he can do that remains to be seen.”

March 28th, 2013 | Posted in Local races, Top Stories | 3 Comments

3 thoughts on “Harris Drops Out of Pittsburgh Mayoral Primary”

  1. Watching the Wheels Go Round says:

    If Wagner cares so much about Pittsburgh, why did he stay in Harrisburg for so long? Why did he just jump into this race when Ravenstahl left it? Why did he change his original plan to enter only the General in November & choose to jump into the Primary? I see him as an opportunist & out of touch with issues in Pgh b/c of years spent in Harrisburg.

  2. Reasonable Rep says:

    You’re already seeing people try to tie Wagner to Ravenstahl, but it’s really not fair to associate Wagner with the incumbent mayor’s shortcomings just because they attract a similar type of voter.

    I do agree that Peduto seems to have his base locked down and at this point will be relying on them to get to the polls at a higher rate than the blocks of voters who will tend to support Wagner, Lamb or Wheatley.

  3. jiffy says:

    Very interesting observation about Mr. Wagner fighting for the concerns of working people and Mr. Peduto being a champion for the issues of the brie and chablis crowd. Could economic class be the divide in this primary? It will be exciting.

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