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No Election Night Surprise In City Council Races

bobby_wilson.jpg
Katie Blackley
/
90.5 WESA
Bobby Wilson won a three-way race to represent Council District 1

Pittsburgh City Council will have just one new face in 2020, after Bobby Wilson won a three-way race in Council District 1 Tuesday night. Wilson bested independent challenger Chris Rosselot by a margin of nearly two-to-one according to unofficial vote totals. Malcolm Jarrett, of the Socialist Workers Party, finished a distant third.

Wilson’s win was no surprise: He beat incumbent Darlene Harris to be the Democratic nominee in May, making him the prohibitive nominee.

Ricky Burgess held off three challengers in Council District 9, though he garnered well under half the vote. His next two rivals – DeNeice Welch and Randall Taylor – largely split most of the opposition between them. Another independent challenger, newcomer Barbara Daniels, finished a distant fourth.

That has been a familiar trend for Burgess, who has struggled to win an outright majority of voters but prevails over a split field of opponents.

There was little action elsewhere in the city. City Councilors Corey O’Connor in District 5 and Deb Gross in District 7 were unopposed, and in District 3, City Council President Bruce Kraus easily brushed aside late entrant Jacob Nixon. City Controller Michael Lamb was also unopposed.

The new council is widely expected to work in concert with Mayor Bill Peduto: Wilson replaced one of Peduto’s most vocal council critics, and of the four returning incumbents, only Gross has occasionally dissented from administration priorities.

Nearly three decades after leaving home for college, Chris Potter now lives four miles from the house he grew up in -- a testament either to the charm of the South Hills or to a simple lack of ambition. In the intervening years, Potter held a variety of jobs, including asbestos abatement engineer and ice-cream truck driver. He has also worked for a number of local media outlets, only some of which then went out of business. After serving as the editor of Pittsburgh City Paper for a decade, he covered politics and government at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has won some awards during the course of his quarter-century journalistic career, but then even a blind squirrel sometimes digs up an acorn.
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