by AmyJo Brown
Franco "Dok' Harris, the 33-year-old son of former Pittsburgh Steelers and Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris, says he intends to challenge City Councilor Daniel Lavelle for the District 6 seat in the upcoming municipal primary.
Harris says he is planning a fundraising kickoff later in February. Candidates cannot officially file for office until Feb. 19.
Harris is a principal partner at the Pittsburgh law firm Harris Wukich. He also works on business development projects for his father's business, Super Bakery, Inc.
Harris challenged Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in the 2009 general election for the city's top job. He received 13.59 percent of the vote compared to Ravenstahl's 63.35 percent.
Harris says he choose not to make another run for the mayoral seat because he is "a very strong supporter of Bill Peduto." Peduto announced his candidacy for the job earlier this month.
"Mayor was out this year," he says.
Instead, he decided to focus his energy on obtaining a seat on city council, he says.
"We need a tenacious fighter," he says. "Daniel has been quiet. Quiet does not get things done."
Lavelle, who is finishing his first term as a city councilor, says his record proves the contrary, noting in particular the levels of investment that have been made within the district.
"Those who I represent would say I've been very tenacious on their behalf," Lavelle says.
Lavelle says he expects to officially launch his campaign in about two weeks. He has also scheduled his first fundraiser for next week.