Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl met with his likely successor, City Councilman Bill Peduto, Monday for the first time since February.
Peduto was optimistic before entering the mayor’s corner office on the fifth floor of City Hall, saying it was a chance to “bury the hatchet” and “smoke the peace pipe.” Peduto said his number one priority going into the meeting was discussing a budget the two could agree on.
After the roughly 22-minute meeting, Peduto said Ravenstahl looked “subdued” yet “positive” and “professional.”
“We’ve been in the rings for so many years that there is, at some point, an understanding that there is a bond that is made even though you may be on the other side, and whenever there’s a potential passing of a baton, you put personal issues aside," Peduto said. "And that certainly was the case today.”
Halfway through the meeting, which Peduto attended with confidant Kevin Acklin, the tone turned towards the personal problems, troubles and benefits that come with being a mayor in a major city. Ravenstahl warned Peduto of the lack of privacy and personal life that comes with holding such a public office.
In describing their relationship, Peduto said it’s like the end of a playoff game.
“I liken it to hockey,” Peduto said. “After a bitter seven-game series, both teams line up at the blue line and then shake at center ice. I think Luke understands that on a personal level and so do I.”
Ravenstahl did not offer support to Peduto throughout the primary race, even running negative ads criticizing his campaign.
Peduto now faces Republican candidate Josh Wander of Squirrel Hill and City Council President Darlene Harris, who changed her registration from Democratic to independent to run as a third party candidate, in the November election.
City voters have not elected a Republican mayor in 80 years.