Live Blog: Pittsburgh And Allegheny County Primary Election Day

May 16, 2017

The 90.5 WESA newsroom will be offering continuously updating coverage from the polls and reporters in the field throughout the day. 

11: 45 p.m.: That's it

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Mayor Bill Peduto swept the primary. He said he has four mandates going forward, including “Reform city government, rebuild our economy, invest in our neighborhoods and invest in our people." 

And catch up on the Pittsburgh Public Schools board race: Kennedy nabs another term, Udin and Edwards win seats. 

-Sarah Kovash

10:26 p.m.: Yinz didn't vote

As our partners at PublicSource point out, only about 15 percent of registered voters in Allegheny County showed up at the polls today. 

-Sarah Kovash

9:43 p.m.: Headed to the party

Mayor Bill Peduto seems to have won the race and has declared victory. He has 67 percent of the votes, with 85 percent of precincts voting. Darlene Harris and John Welch are far behind with 14 and 18 percent of the vote, respectively

-Sarah Kovash

9:35 p.m.: Coghill takes District 4

Anthony Coghill claimed victory in the tight City Council race. Opponent Ashleigh Deemer called Coghill around 9 p.m. to congratulate him on the win. 

-Sarah Schneider

9:26 p.m.: The latest

9:15 p.m.: A mayor "this good" 

Mayor Bill Peduto continues to lead the polls. More than half of the precincts are reporting and Peduto has remained consistent with 65 percent of the vote

Supporters at his Election Night party say they are confident. 

9:05 p.m.: Coghill leads

8:56 p.m.: Another 23 percent

Mayor Bill Peduto continues to lead the mayoral race with 65 percent of the vote, 24 percent of precincts are now reporting.

Welch trails with 17 percent and Harris with 16 percent. 

Follow the Allegheny County election results on their website

-Sarah Kovash

8:52 p.m.: Deemer expected soon

Ashleigh Deemer's headquarters in Brookline.
Credit Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council candidate Ashleigh Deemer is expected to be at her campaign headquarters on Brookline Boulevard after 9 p.m., as election results come in. The chief of staff for current District 4 councilwoman Natalia Rudiak is running in her first campaign.

-Sarah Schneider

8:46 p.m. The 1 percent

Mayor Bill Peduto is leading the mayoral race, with 55 percent of the vote. However, that's with only 1 percent of precincts reporting. Check the latest numbers here

-Sarah Kovash

8:31 p.m.: Harris and Welch wait

Lauren Enty, a volunteer coordinator for mayoral candidate John Welch.
Credit Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

About a dozen people, including family members of John Welch and campaign volunteers are waiting for results at Bill's Bar & Burgers at the Westin Hotel downtown. Volunteer Coordinator Lauren Enty said a consistent group of 40 or so volunteers helped canvas neighborhoods during the campaign, which was based on a word-of-mouth strategy. She said people in the neighborhoods they focused on were familiar with Welch. "We're not afraid to walk the streets in Homewood and East Liberty," she said. 

Darbea's Tavern in Troy Hill.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

City Councilwoman Darlene Harris is having her election night party at Darbea's Tavern in Troy Hill. "Win or lose, they'll be on the back patio after 8:30," said a bartender. 

- Virginia Alvino Young and Liz Reid

8:08 p.m.: Polls are closed

The polls closed at 8 p.m. Check Allegheny County race updates here

6:15 p.m.: Pennsylvania's judge races 

Eighteen people are running for spots on Pennsylvania's Superior and Commonwealth courts this primary. Five Democrats and five Republicans are hoping to fill four spots in the Superior Court, which handles county family, civil and criminal cases. 

And two Republicans and six Democrats are seeking spots in the Commonwealth Court, which handles cases in which one of the parties is a government agency. 

Allegheny County judge and former Steelers player Dwayne Woodruff, a Democrat, is also running for state Supreme Court. 

Find out who's running here and check results later tonight here

—Sarah Kovash

4:59 p.m.: Who will replace Natalia Rudiak?

Credit Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

As The Incline points out, there's only one competitive City Council race. Anthony Coghill and Ashleigh Deemer are both vying for the District 4 seat, held by Natalia Rudiak who is not seeking re-election (she told WESA in March that after eight years she's "burned out," but hopes more women will run for office).  Get to know both candidates in Sarah Anne Hughes' March profile for The Incline.

—Sarah Kovash

4:12 p.m.: Water woes

Water quality has been a big issue for Pittsburgh residents, from a flush and boil order early this year to lead concerns and service line replacements. It's also been a big issue in the mayoral race. Darlene Harris said she blames Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority for mismanagement and that she'd "make new hires." Mayor Bill Peduto says he wants to create a long-term plan for replacing outdated water lines. And John Welch scoffed at the city's offering of free water filters, calling them a "joke." Find more of their responses and stances on other local issues here

—Sarah Kovash

2:46 p.m.: Scenes from around the city

Campaign materials, left, being handed out and a volunteer for mayoral candidate John Welch, right, distributed flyers outside of Rodman Street Baptist Church in East Liberty.
Credit Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA
Carol Coultas sports a "Re-Elect Mayor Peduto" shirt outside of a polling location at the South Side Market House.
Credit Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA
Signs outside of the West Park Court polling place on the North Side.
Credit Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

1:33 p.m.: Problems with staffing 

The polling location at Sunnyside Elementary in Stanton Heights was slow midday.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Staffing issues are the biggest problems being reported by the Allegheny County Elections Division in this off-year primary.

According to county spokeswoman Amie Downs, a poling place in Wilkinsburg did not open by 8 a.m. because the Judge of Elections did not report for duty. A sheriff’s deputy was sent to the person’s home to get them to the poling place.

A lack of workers at a downtown poling place also caused that location to be closed for a short period of time.

And a poling location on Clairton Road in Pleasant Hills opened late because elections workers could not get in the building. Emergency ballots were used until they could access and boot up the machines.

—Mark Nootbaar

11:45 a.m.: Bookmark Allegheny County's new election results website for tonight

As The Incline's MJ Slaby reported back in April, the county has made some major upgrades to its election results website, including mapping the results by precinct and allowing users to save their favorite races. Polls close at 8 p.m.; expect early results to start rolling in shortly after.

—Patrick Doyle

10:20 a.m.: Candidates for Pittsburgh Public School Board on the issues

Wondering who to vote for when it comes to the PPS Board? 90.5 WESA's education reporter Sarah Schneider surveyed the candidates on a variety of issues, including the achievement gap, teacher accountability, and charter school funding. Read their answers here.

Patrick Doyle

9:15 a.m.: Did the Pens' playoff game cause a slow primary start?

Campaign volunteers waiting for voters in McCandless.
Credit Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

In McCandless, one campaign worker speculated that excitement from the Penguins' 1-0 victory over the Senators last night might have caused voters to sleep in a bit later than they might have usually on an election day; he expected to see an uptick in voters later in the day.

Mark Nootbaar

8:45 am.: Why do we vote for judges?

While many voters have strong opinions on well-known elected offices like mayor and city council, knowing which judges to vote for can be challenging. 90.5 WESA's Mark Nootbaar put together a explainer story detailing why we have partisan judicial elections in Pennsylvania. You can find recommendations on the appellate judicial candidates from the Pennsylvania Bar Association here.

Patrick Doyle

7 a.m.: No lines in Lawrenceville as polls open

Credit Patrick Doyle / 90.5 WESA

Voters at St. Mary's Lyceum in Lawrenceville were able to march right in to record their ballot this morning. County and city elections generally don't draw nearly as many voters as national races do. In 2013, for example, a total of 163,655 voters participated in the Allegheny County primaries, which is just under 19 percent of registered voters. In 2016, however, 359,800 participated in the primaries, which included races for president, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

—Patrick Doyle

6 a.m.: Polls open in an hour

Polls open in one hour in Allegheny County.
Credit Matt Rourke / AP

Here's a quick breakdown as election day gets underway:

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Allegheny County. 

Check out where your polling place is by typing in your address here

You can also view your sample ballot online here

Want to check out the mayoral candidates' views on important city topics? Read our roundup here. And hear what they had to say during our forum here

And catch up on how Pittsburgh Public Schools board candidates feel on issues such as guns in schools and school choice, in our roundup here

For our full primary coverage, check out more stories here

—Sarah Kovash