Allegheny County Dems assist Ed Gainey in Pittsburgh Mayor’s Race

Ed Gainey won Allegheny County Democratic Committee approval in its challenge to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and became the first Black Pittsburgh mayoral candidate to receive the party’s approval.

Peduto did not compete for the committee’s formal support announced after a meeting on Sunday.

Gainey, 51, a five-year-old state official from Lincoln Lemington, held a challenge for retired Pittsburgh police officer Tony Moreno, 51, of Brighton Heights. The vote was 326-224 in favor of Gainey, said Eileen Kelly, chair of the committee.

They are the two main Democratic challengers to Peduto, 56, from Point Breeze, who is seeking a third term as mayor. If he wins, it will be his last term, Peduto said.

No Republican candidate has stood up since John S. Herron in the 1930s, and the city no longer has a GOP mayor.

“I’ve spent the last six weeks speaking with committee members in every corner of our city about their priorities for our city. Today’s outcome shows that we share a common vision for a better and more prosperous future for all Pittsburghers.” Gainey said in a statement released by his campaign.

Moreno, who was involved as a political outsider, saw things differently.

He questioned the mail-in voting process and the way personal votes were also accepted on Sunday at Steamfitters Local 449 hall in Duquesne Heights.

Moreno called his performance among committee members in the southern hill districts “strong”.

“I’m the people’s candidate on the street,” said Moreno.

Gainey and Peduto represent the party’s establishment, Moreno said.

Peduto suspended approval over a dispute with the committee’s trial last year when a State House candidate holding positions in support of former President Donald Trump was approved.

Prior to the endorsement vote, Moreno also came under fire for old social media posts he made to fuel political fires in support of Trump. Before he announced his candidacy in September 2019, Moreno had also briefly been a registered Republican.

Kelly said she was glad the committee members had come together to issue a balanced ticket with women and black candidates.

“It’s a perfect ticket. It’s a very varied ticket, ”said Kelly.

Peduto has the support of a host of incumbent Democratic leaders, including Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, US Representative Mike Doyle, and Senate Democratic leader Jay Costa.

On Friday, Peduto also received recognition from the Allegheny Fayette Central Labor Council, the region’s umbrella trade union organization.

Thank you @AlleghenyLabor! We are proud to have this confirmation. We will always stand with the workers and look forward to continuing our work together to build a better Pittsburgh.

– Peduto for Pittsburgh (@PeopleForPeduto) March 7, 2021

In a statement released by his campaign, Peduto said the Democratic Committee vote “went as expected” when Gainey Moreno was brought forward.

The Labor Council’s affirmation reads: “Recognizing the work we have done for fair wages and contracts, paid sick days and raised the minimum wage for city workers to $ 15 an hour,” Peduto said.

Will Parker, 41, a North Side businessman, is also seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor. Parker did not run an active campaign.


The candidates who will receive endorsement from the Allegheny County Democratic Committee are:

Mayor of Pittsburgh

Ed Gainey

Pittsburgh City Council

District 2

Theresa Kail Smith

District 4

Anthony Coghill

District 8

Erika Strassburger

Pittsburgh School Board

District 1

Sylvia Wilson

District 5

Terry Kennedy

District 9

Veronica Edwards

Allegheny County Sheriff

Kevin Kraus

District Council

District 1

Jack Betkowski

District 3

Anita Prizio

District 4

Patrick J. Catena

District 8

Paul Zavarella

District 9

Bob Macey

District 12

Bob Palmosina

Court of Joint Pleas

Elliot Howsie

Sabrina Korbel

Chelsa Wagner

William (Bill) Caye

Tom Caulfield

Jessel Costa

Bruce Beemer

Wrenna Watson

Patrick Sweeney


Magistrate District 05-2-04

Matthew Rudzki

Magistrate District 5-2-19

Lisa Borrelli Dorn

Magistrate District 5-3-13

Nick Martini

Magistrate District 5-2-40

Jehosa Wright

Magistrate District 5-2-42

Mark Scorpion

Magistrate District 5-3-10

Tony Ceoffe

Magistrate District 5-3-12

Kevin Cooper

Magistrates District 5-2-06

Anthony L. DeLuca

Magistrate District 5-2-18

Ralph Kaiser

Magistrate District 5-3-09

Armand A. Martin

Magistrate District 5-2-38

Jim Motznik

Magistrate District 5-2-02

Richard Opiela

Magistrate District 5-2-11

Roxanne Sakoian Eichler

Magistrate District 5-2-47

Scott H. Schricker

Magistrate District 5-2-22

Craig Stephens

The primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, May 18, 2021.

Tom Davidson is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715,, or on Twitter.

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