With Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s announcement that he is withdrawing from the campaign, the race for the mayor’s office has, for now, become a two-man contest but neither candidate believes their tactics over the next three months will change much.
Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb, who along with Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto, is running for the mayor’s office.
“Our message has been about a new approach to leadership, dealing with the basic issues of a more effective and efficient and open government,” said Lamb.
“Our campaign is more focused on neighborhoods and getting out neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street, the votes we need to win,” said Peduto. “Whether it was three candidates, two candidates or 23 candidates it's really a focus on how many votes do we need and getting them.”
Peduto said he told his campaign staff he fully expected them to stop working to listen to the mayor’s news conference but then get back to work making calls and knocking on doors.
Former Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner has been rumored to be considering a bid for the office but it is unclear if he would run in the May primary or as an independent in the November election. Other lesser-known candidates are also expected to emerge in the coming weeks before nominating petitions are due.
Lamb said the day of the mayor’s announcement should not be a day of politics.
“I respect the choice he made and I wish the best to him and to the Ravenstahl family,” said Lamb. “Our city continues to face serious challenges and I’m hoping to work with the mayor, his administration, and city council for the remainder of his term toward a common goal of improving Pittsburgh and the lives of the people who call it home.”
Peduto also voiced concern for the mayor and noted that he too had to make the tough decision to leave a race. Peduto dropped his bid for the mayor’s office in 2007 just weeks before the election. “Kinda hoping he is doing alright.”
Despite Ravenstahl’s opining that the job was “grueling” Peduto says he still wants the job.
“With every fiber in my body. I realize that there is a lot of responsibility that comes with the job but there is also a lot of opportunity.”