City Council President Darlene Harris has withdrawn her name from the ballot in the race for Pittsburgh Mayor, bringing the number of Democrats down to five.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