Harris, Welch Challenge Peduto In Democratic Mayoral Primary

Mar 7, 2017

Incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto will face two opponents in the May party primary.

Officials with the Allegheny County Board of Elections confirmed Tuesday that North Side Councilwoman Darlene Harris and former Peduto supporter Rev. John Welch both filed petitions ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline.

Harris sought the Democratic endorsement earlier this month, but ultimately lost 372-245 to the incumbent mayor. At the Allegheny County Democrats' announcement event on Sunday, Peduto staffers told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the momentum is building.

“The endorsement obviously means that the committee people see good in the mayor," campaign manager Keyva Clark told the newspaper, "but we have to make sure all of his constituents feel the same way.”

Welch, who was a strong supporter of Peduto during his first bid for mayor, said more needs to be done in the areas of public safety and affordable housing.

“We want people to be able to live in any of the areas in the City of Pittsburgh,” Welch said. “We don't want to even masquerade another view of concentrated poverty, because people can move into affordable housing in one particular area. I don't think that's the message we want to send.”

Peduto replaced previous mayor, Democrat Luke Ravenstahl, in 2013 after serving on City Council for 19 years. 

Harris did not respond to requests for comment.