Behind the scenes, the Pittsburgh mayor's race is shaping up as an Obama for America campaign reunion. City Councilman Bill Peduto said Friday that Grant Gittlen, who worked as a deputy political director for Western Pennsylvania for the president's reelection effort, had signed on as field and political director for his bid to wrest the Democratic nomination from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
Mr. Gittlen is also a former executive director for the Allegheny County Democratic Party, and served as field director for Mr. Peduto's ally, county Executive Rich Fitzgerald in his 2011 campaign.
The announcement follows the news that Aletheia Henry, who directed the Obama 2012 general election effort across the state, would be campaign manager for the mayor's re-election effort. City Controller Michael Lamb also dipped into the Obama talent pool to hire Anne Batchelder, the president's former deputy field director for Western Pennsylvania, as his campaign manager.
Now, the question is, which one walked away with the secret password to unlock OFA's vaunted and closely guarded voter data base?