Pittsburgh’s incumbent Mayor, Bill Peduto conceded the primary election Tuesday to challenger State. Rep. Ed Gainey, who would become the city’s first African-American chief executive if he wins the general election in November.
Incumbent Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D-Point Breeze) announced on Twitter that he called Gainey to concede late in the evening on May 18. With more than 98% of the in-person ballots counted, and virtually all mail-in ballots in, Pittsburgh City Paper reported.
His win is also the first time in modern history that a Pittsburgh incumbent mayor has been defeated.
The Representative has secured more than 46% of the vote in a four-way race. Peduto currently has about 39%, former Pittsburgh Police officer Tony Moreno has 13%, and Michael Thompson, a math tutor and ride hail driver, has about 1%.
Gainey has served as state representative for the 24th Pennsylvania House District since 2013 and has become a progressive ally on issues like criminal justice reform, marijuana policy, labor, public transit, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I’m honored, humbled, and proud that the people of Pittsburgh have placed their faith in me by making me their Democratic Nominee for the office of Mayor,” said Gainey in a statement. “This election made history, and I’m ready to go to work building a Pittsburgh where all can belong, contribute, and succeed.”
As reported by Politico, Bill Peduto, a Democrat, had been seeking a third term against three primary challengers but instead called to congratulate Gainey, a five-term state representative. “Wishing him well,” Peduto tweeted late Tuesday.
A victory assured in November
Gainey seems all but assured of a victory in November in the heavily Democratic city. He had consistently made the campaign about equality for African-Americans and poor residents, and accused Peduto of failing to ensure equity in policing, housing and other areas. At one point, he called Pittsburgh “a tale of two cities.”
His campaign was focused on highlighting racial and economic inequities that have affected Pittsburgh and advancing solutions to combat them. His biggest campaign promise was to re-initiate a lawsuit against the charity statues of large nonprofits like UPMC who don’t pay property taxes thanks to state law.
He also wants to see a larger focus on affordable housing measures, including making the Pittsburgh land bank functional, and wants to institute a city-wide inclusionary zoning policy.