Chris Potter

Government & Accountability Editor

Nearly three decades after leaving home for college, Chris Potter now lives four miles from the house he grew up in -- a testament either to the charm of the South Hills or to a simple lack of ambition. In the intervening years, Potter held a variety of jobs, including asbestos abatement engineer and ice-cream truck driver. He has also worked for a number of local media outlets, only some of which then went out of business. After serving as the editor of Pittsburgh City Paper for a decade, he covered politics and government at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has won some awards during the course of his quarter-century journalistic career, but then even a blind squirrel sometimes digs up an acorn.

And yes, that is his real hair.

He can be reached at 412-930-8006 or at cpotter@wesa.fm.

Alex Brandon / AP

In a 45-minute "tele-town hall" with Pennsylvanians Wednesday morning, Pat Toomey made clear -- again -- that he thought the Russians should pay a steep price for trying to shape the outcome of the 2016 election.

At the same time, however, he pushed back on suggestions that there be a cost for the man who won that election, President Donald Trump.  

Keith Srakocic / AP

In one of the country's most closely-watched House Races, western Pennsylvania incumbents Keith Rothfus and Conor Lamb appear to be on even ground financially. 

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke to some 3,000 educators at the American Federation of Labor conference in Downtown Pittsburgh this morning, portraying the labor movement’s struggles as a proof of its importance.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Hillary Clinton pulled few punches in a fiery 25-minute address to the American Federation of Teachers in Downtown Pittsburgh mid-morning Friday.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

It’s not easy to watch, or listen to, the video recording that captured an East Pittsburgh police officer shooting and killing 17-year-old Antwon Rose last month.

Courtesy of Friends of Turahn Jenkins

Turahn Jenkins announced his bid to challenge Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala on July 2. Less than a week later, some of the progressive activists who initially supported him are calling on him to withdraw, citing Jenkins' ties to a church with deeply conservative views on abortion and homosexuality.

State House of Representatives

In a surprise announcement made the afternoon before the Fourth of July holiday, state Rep. Hal English, R-Hampton, said he's withdrawing from the November election. 

Allegheny County Republicans can replace him on the fall ballot, but for now Democrat Betsy Monroe is the only candidate in the race. 

"I'm speechless," Monroe said, after a five-second pause, when notified that her rival was withdrawing. "I'm as surprised as anyone." 

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld was charged with homicide for shooting black teenager Antwon Rose just last week, and he's already facing a civil suit. 

Allegheny County Democratic Committee / via Facebook

Democratic committee leaders gather Saturday to decide who will be the next face of the party in Pittsburgh. And among the three candidates is a controversial ward chair who has faced repeated allegations of domestic violence.

 

Kevin Quigley, of Brighton Heights, is a fixture in local Democratic politics -- he chairs his community’s 27th Ward Democratic Committee and currently serves as the city committee's vice-chair. Once a public-works official for former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, he's now employed by County Controller Chelsa Wagner.

Allegheny County District Attorney / AP

East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld, who shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose, has been charged with one count of criminal homicide.

Kathleen Davis / 90.5 WESA

Updated at 12:33 a.m.

More than 200 demonstrators marched through the South Side on Saturday, marking the fourth consecutive night of protests following the death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. at the hands of suburban police.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Republican Congressman Keith Rothfus, running for reelection in one of the most closely watched House races in the country, got a boost from Vice President Mike Pence Saturday afternoon.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

In the wake of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's firing of editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers, the Post-Gazette's union reporters -- and its non-unionized editors -- took out ads in their own paper Tuesday, distancing themselves from their own publisher.

Photo by Sylvia Rhor

Veteran Pittsburgh editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers has been terminated from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- the latest controversy to engulf the paper's editorial page.

Nancy Patton Mills, who hopes to be chosen as the next chair of the state Democratic Committee next week, suffered a rebuke in her own home county on Saturday: Despite the support of Gov. Tom Wolf and other top Democrats, she lost the race for Allegheny County Democratic chair to Eileen Kelly by a two-to-one margin.

Courtesy of Sylvia Rhor

Rob Rogers' cartoons have been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for more than 20 years. And as Pat Bagley can tell you, some friction with editors is part of the job.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and its recently hired editorial director, Keith Burris, may be on the verge of another controversy over the direction of its editorial page. Over the past week, the paper has not published five cartoons by its editorial cartoonist, Rob Rogers.

Katie Blackley / WESA

Now that the primary is over and the 2018 campaigns are well underway, we checked in with U.S. Senator Bob Casey. On a recent trip through Pittsburgh, Casey sat down with 90.5 WESA's government and accountability editor, Chris Potter.

Casey discussed how issues like trade with China and steel and aluminum tariffs will affect Pennsylvania. 

Members of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee will choose their party leaders on June 9. And whether they vote for current county chair Nancy Patton Mills or challenger Eileen Kelly, this may be the last time they choose by secret ballot.

For a while, in fact, it appeared committee members wouldn’t be allowed to vote in secret this time, either.

City of Pittsburgh District 9

On Thursday, Pittsburgh's Wage Review Committee gathered in an East Liberty church to discuss wages at grocery stores. And while Giant Eagle was once praised for offering good wages and benefits, critics testified that its reputation was past its sell-by date. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler won't know until November whether he will be a Congressman, but already a top Republican has expressed interest in replacing him in Harrisburg.

Official Congressional Portrait

On Friday Congressman Keith Rothfus, a conservative Republican from Sewickley, joined Democrats in voting down a farm bill that would have imposed new limits on food benefits.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

First-time candidate Sara Innamorato declared victory over a five-term incumbent in the Democratic primary for House District 21.

PA Senate

State Senator Guy Reschenthaler avenged a loss last fall to state Rep. Rick Saccone, handily winning his party's nomination in the newly drawn 14th Congressional District by a margin of over 10 percent.

 

"We have all won tonight," Reschenthaler told supporters at a VFW hall in Peters Township."You were with me from the beginning to the end, and I'm going to be with you well into the future."

Evan Vucci / AP

Today’s primary ballot allows voters to pick their champions in races for governor and U.S. Senator on down. But University of Pittsburgh political science professor Kristin Kanthak argues what’s at stake this year isn’t just the identities of the candidates–but of the parties themselves.

Niven Sabherwal / 90.5 WESA

The Allegheny River borough of Millvale is arguably at the epicenter of Tuesday’s primary elections. But as of lunchtime, it was kind of hard to tell.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Republican and Democratic voters are heading to the polls today to select their champions for November's general election, and Mark Wolosik, who heads Allegheny County's elections department, is expecting light turnout for today's primary. 

"We're predicting about 20 percent on both sides -- 20 percent Democratic and 20 percent Republican registered voters," he says.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Call it a tale of two Costas.

In campaign-season mailers being sent to Democratic voters in the 21st state House district, state Rep. Dom Costa boasts of his success at “Moving Pittsburgh Forward.” 

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council is rewriting a proposal to reform the troubled Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

An Allegheny County Democrat is once again seeking to become the face of the state Democratic Party: Nancy Patton Mills, who chairs the county’s committee, is officially declaring her candidacy for party chair when state officials gather in Harrisburg in mid-June.

“I think it’s time for the PA Democratic Committee to come into this century,” Mills says. “[We] are the party of the people now,” with a more diverse make-up.

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