Wagner Leads Pittsburgh Money Race, Peduto Close Behind

Wagner Peduto
Wagner, left, and Peduto

The fundraising reports are in. Former Auditor General Jack Wagner has raised $1.24 million so far in his race for Pittsburgh Mayor, with City Councilman Bill Peduto at $1.01 million.

The difference in the race is roughly $371,000 that Wagner transferred from the statewide campaign committee he used to run for Auditor General and Governor.

The report, the final one mandated between now and the May 21 election, covers Feb. 1 through May 6. The numbers below cover the time period of the entire campaign.

Wagner’s is the first campaign report to be posted on the Allegheny County Board of Elections website. Peduto’s numbers come from the Peduto campaign. Numbers for activist AJ Richardson have yet to be posted.

Jack Wagner
Raised: $1,236,649.40
Spent: $927,288.93
Cash on hand: $309,360.50

Wagner’s biggest donors are labor unions and local officials, much of the infrastructure that boosted Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in the past (State Sen. Ferlo gave him $10,000). He’s also the clear choice of Republican interests in the race. State Sen. Don White (R-Indiana) gave him $5,000 and the pro-life group Family PAC gave him $2,500. Range Resources chipped in, too.

Bill Peduto
Raised: $1,015,353.83
Spent: $757,926.41
Cash on hand: $257,427.42

His campaign is boasting that they have nearly 2,000 individual donors. His biggest supporters are County Executive Rich Fitzgerald ($50,000), something called WUF PAC ($45,000) and the SEIU ($25,000).

Mayor Ravenstahl also filed a report. Though he’s not seeking re-election, he has taken an active role in the campaign via his PAC Citizens for a Better Pittsburgh.

Luke Ravenstahl
Raised: $32,216.30
Spent: $377,728.85
Cash on hand: $564,182.58

He transferred $151,000 to CFB a few weeks ago and paid for polling in mid-April, long after his decision to drop out. He also gave $10,000 to Wheatley’s campaign and $2,500 to Willie Reynolds, a Peduto-style technocrat running for mayor in Bethlehem, Pa.

And the Post-Gazette reports his committee plans to continue running TV ads against Peduto, to the tune of at least $70,000. Reports for the Committee for a Better Pittsburgh haven’t yet been posted.

Jake Wheatley
Raised: $62,180
Spent: $21,129.94
Cash on hand: $41,050.06
Debts: $14,090.00

A quick note: generally speaking campaign finance reports – especially in the closing days of an election – tend to overstate cash on hand. They can do that by delaying payments to vendors (like TV stations) by a few days or weeks.

6 Responses

  1. @ square chick you’re ordering of the polls is incorrect.Wagner slippage occurred after the two week barrage of negative ads sponsored by Peduto. Remember Wagner started the race behind Peduto but ahead of Lamb. Then lamb dropped and jack took the lead. Peduto’s lead is the result of maligning Jack as a GOP a no no Democrat politics. Luke’s ad only brought out truths about Peduto’s dealings in the AfricanAmerican community. The fact that Peduto’s people oppose Luke contributing to Jakes campaign is only a sign of frustration as his campaign unravels. Drive through the ritzy parts of Pgh and see the 1% flying the Peduto flag. Leftist progressive (ows) are his ground troops; the 1% his check book.

  2. Just to expand a little bit, I think that Ravenstahl’s entrance into this fray may have hurt Peduto for a reason that doesn’t get discussed a lot. In recent weeks, Peduto has really lost focus and pushed this “Wagnerstahl” idea, which I don’t think was best use of their resources.

    The Peduto contingent HATES Ravenstahl and his associates – everyone gets that. But in that regard, I think that there is a real disconnect between them and the average Joe from Brighton Heights or Mt. Washington. Average Joe just is not as obsessed with removing every trace of Luke from the Mayor’s office. So although I think Peduto could conceivably build a winning coalition on his own merits, I don’t think he can win simply by being the “anti-Luke” candidate.

    Having doubled down on this simplistic “us against the Luke machine” political framework, I think Peduto’s best chance is a low turnout generally, where his dedicated core of supporters are enough to win. But with the amount of money being pumped into the race by Luke/Peduto/Wagner, I think that enough non-East Enders will bother to stop by the polls and, consequently, Wagner will win with about 45%.

  3. The overwhelming majority of voters aren’t political junkies like us that comment on these sites. That Ravenstahl’s ads were produced by a certain firm hasn’t been publicized through commercials or the local news, so I really doubt that the average voter even knows of any “Swiftboat” controversy. Plus, with Wagner being a decorated Vietnam vet, I can’t see him getting hurt here.

    On the other hand, Ravenstahl’s role in the Peduto hit pieces has been made known to most voters who pay attention. But even if that diminishes the ads’ effectiveness, there’s NO WAY they have somehow became a net positive for Peduto. You’re telling me he WANTS them on the air? Please.

  4. Agree with Frank that the Anti Peduto ads by Ravenstahl changed the momentum in this race. Jack was ahead – even as a late entrant – but began to slip as soon as it became apparent that Ravenstahl and a Republican ad agency were behind the ads. To some degree the Peduto supporters have managed to portray the ads as a Ravenstahl/Wagner conspiracy, and that helps Peduto. Luke’s worst nightmare – that Peduto succeeds him – may happen because he (Luke) got involved . . . if Ravenstahl really wanted to help Wagner, he should have stayed/stay out of it. The story on May 22nd may still be all about Luke because of these ad buys.

  5. It’s just not the money that helps wagner. peduto peaked too soon. i’m sure he wished the election was held two weeks ago. he’s slipping and wagner’s rising.

  6. wagners money wont save him may 21 he was doing so well until luke ravenstahl tied himself with wagner and his swift boat ads.notice all wagners ads are negative i think peduto is the front runner now.

Comments are closed.

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