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Politics & Government

Luke Ravenstahl: Mayor of Pittsburgh: 2006-????

Speculation continues to swirl in City Hall and around the City of Pittsburgh as to the political future of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. 

Ravenstahl's absence from public events in recent days is fueling speculation about his re-election bid as he stays behind closed doors.  Reporters gathered outside the Mayor’s office for a possible news conference but Ravenstahl remained out of sight Thursday and the mayor's office isn't commenting, leaving others to try to explain his absences in the middle of his re-election campaign.

Kevin Quigley, a city public works employee and friend of the mayor, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday night that the 33-year-old mayor will be holding a press conference in the next couple days to discuss "some issues."

Ravenstahl's campaign manager, Aletheia Henry, says Ravenstahl missed several events because his mother is ill.

Ravenstahl is also dealing with a federal investigation of city police business.

The mayor is seeking a second full four-year term and is opposed in the Democratic primary by City Controller Michael Lamb and City Councilman Bill Peduto.

Luke Ravenstahl timeline:

  • November 2003:  elected to Pittsburgh Council (District 1) becoming the youngest councilman in city history
  • August 2004:  married high school sweetheart Erin Feith
  • December 2005:  elected as Council president as a compromise when the expected favorite Jim Motnzik couldn’t secure five votes
  • September 1, 2006:  As Council President, became mayor upon the death of Mayor Bob O’Connor.  At age 26 Ravenstahl became the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city
  • December 2006:  Along with Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt, announces the creation of the Pittsburgh Promise, to provide up to $40,000 in college scholarships to eligible city high school graduates
  • June 2007:  City Ethics Board questions Ravenstahl’s participation in a Mario Lemieux charity golf tournament with UPMC and the Pittsburgh Penguins paying the $9,000 entry fee
  • August 2007:  criticized for using a Homeland Security-funded SUV to go to Toby Keith concert in Burghettstown, Washington County
  • November 6, 2007:  Defeated Republican Mark DeSantis in a general election to serve out the remaining two years of the late Bob O’Connor’s term
  • August 2008:  Referring to the awarding of contracts, Urban Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Pat Ford resigns saying there is “culture of deception and corruption” in the Ravenstahl administration
  • October 31, 2008:  The Ravenstahl’s only child, Cooper Luke is born
  • May 2009:  Defeats challengers Patrick Dowd and Carmen Robinson in the Democratic mayoral primary
  • September 2009:  Pittsburgh hosts the G20 Summit of world leaders
  • November 2009:  Defeats independent candidates Franco “Dok” Harris and Kevin Acklin to win a full four-year term as mayor
  • November 24, 2009:  Ravenstahl and wife officially separate; divorce finalized in July 2011
  • February 19, 2013:  Officially announces his bid for another term in office
  • February 20, 2013:  Ravenstahl demands and receives resignation of Police Chief Nate Harper as a result of FBI investigation into thousands of deposits and withdrawals of tax payer money from non-authorized accounts.  After meeting with representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, Ravenstahl insists he is “not a target” of the investigation