by Chris Potter
As we reported earlier this week, within hours of Patrick Dowd's decision to resign from council next month, names for potential replacements began circulating. Among the most frequently mentioned: state Sen. Jim Ferlo, who formerly held that council seat himself. Ferlo faces the prospect of a tough re-election battle: His district was recently reconfigured to be oriented toward the northern suburbs, where presumptive Republican rival Randy Vulakovich has his base.
We asked Ferlo earlier this week about whether he was interested in running for the special election that would be held this November to replace Dowd. Yesterday, he e-mailed us a statement that he'd apparently also sent to the Post-Gazette. In the statement, Ferlo notes he has more immediate priorities -- Harrisburg is abuzz with the state budget process and debates about liquor-store privatization, among other matters -- and says he's "not ready yet to suit up and get on the field." But I'll tell you what ... I'm reading that statement and putting the emphasis on the word "yet." Read the statement in full and see if you agree (the ellipses are Ferlo's):
[M]y immediate priorities and responsibilities are with state budget, state store debate, Medicare expansion etc. and work needing to be accomplished before June 30th.... [S]everal folks who I respect and are deserving and could support will be weighing their options and opportunities.... I have rec'd many supportive comments from community leaders and business folks because of my Senate and URA initiatives, but quite frankly not ready yet to suit up and get on the field---I have not yet had a chance to speak to Councilman Dowd or Councilman/Democratic nominee Bill Peduto.