Citing his long record of public service, a local state senator and four labor unions endorsed former Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner for the Pittsburgh mayoral race.
On the steps of the City-County Building on Grant Street Wednesday morning, State Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) announced his support for Wagner. Ferlo had filed nominating papers for the mayoral race but withdrew less than a week later.
"In my opinion, Grant Street needs a new sheriff in town," Ferlo said. "Jack Wagner is the right person at the right time for the right job."
Wagner picked up endorsements from the firefighters union, the Fraternal Order of Police, Operating Engineers Local 66 and Teamsters Local 249.
Darrin Kelly of the firefighters union (IAFF Local 1) said the four unions are unified behind Wagner.
"This constitutes the bulk of the city of Pittsburgh's workers," Kelly said.
Wagner himself noted that the entire membership of the firefighters and police unions must live within city limits, so the endorsements have secured a significant voting bloc to "jump start" his campaign.
Wagner, a former city councilman and state senator, began his campaign later than two of his Democratic competitors. The Beechview resident only began his campaign after incumbent mayor Luke Ravenstahl declined reelection.
After the unions of the Allegheny County Labor Council could not decide on a solitary candidate to endorse, campaign support from labor has been divided.
Six Democrats are running for their party's nomination in the May 21 mayoral primary. They are: City Council President Darlene Harris, City Controller Michael Lamb, City Councilman Bill Peduto, bus monitor and activist A.J. Richardson, Wagner, and state Representative Jake Wheatley.