Photos courtesy of the candidates
Darlene Harris (left), Bill Peduto (center), John Welch (right)
Pittsburgh's mayoral race hasn't really taken off like many Pittsburghers might have thought. Initially, the entrance of Rev. John Welch, known for his progressive activism and protests against UPMC, was predicted to sway incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto to the left. And when City Councilor Darlene Harris (D-North Side) entered the race, some believed Harris, with her old-school, more conservative approach, would pull Peduto to the right. Local political observers seemed ready for challengers to tackle Peduto, or at least watch him tight-rope walk between these two sides.
Instead, we have mostly gotten a candidate in Welch who, while proposing some minor fixes to the lead-water pipe issues, hasn't really produced any comprehensive, long-term plans to city problems, instead opting to attack bike-lanes
. And Harris has yet to even hold a campaign event, let alone produce a clear vision for how she would run Pittsburgh. (In fact, when Harris was asked by WPXI, on March 31, how she would fix the ongoing problems at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, she said "I have absolutely no idea. All I have is questions."
) Harris did however make a splash in the race by riding a circus elephant
But things could get more serious on April 19, as the three mayoral candidates face off in the race's first debate. The debate will be televised live at 7 p.m. on WTAE (channel 4, the ABC affiliate) and will include a panel comprised of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
reporter Chris Potter, WTAE-TV reporter Bob Mayo, KQV-AM reporter Elaine Effort and Brianna Horan of the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh. Chronicle
host Sally Wiggins will moderate.
The LWVGP is sponsoring the debate. The debate will also be live-streamed on wtae.com
and will be rebroadcast on thisTV on April 22 at 5 p.m.
Also if you wish to vote in Pittsburgh's 2017 mayoral race (or any other municipal primary elections), April 17 is the day to register to vote. Voters can register online at www.pavoterservices.pa.gov
and primary election day is May 16.