Dok Harris challenges Lavelle

Published by James O'Toole on .

Franco Dok Harris has announced his candidacy Monday for the Democratic nomination for the city council seat held by R. Daniel Lavelle.

Mr. Harris, 33, ran for mayor as an independent in 2009, finishing second to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

"I will bring my experience as an attorney and entrepreneur to city council to implement good policy and good government,'' the Downtown resident said in a statement announcing his bid.  "We all love our hometown, and we know it offers the best in education, culture, sports, and people.  My goal is to make sure that it offers the best in local government as well.''

District 6 extends from the Hill District through Downtown and into the North Side.  Mr. Lavelle won the seat in 2009, ousting then incumbent Tonya Payne.

Mr. Harris is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh law school and Carnegie-Mellon's Tepper School of Business.  Mr. Lavelle did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the race.

"I did a lot of soul-searching in the last two years and I just decided that my best opportunity to serve the city was on council,'' Mr. Harris said Monday.  "Having done the mayor's race, this is going to be a much mo0re intimate race.  I'm looking forward to building those personal relationships that are going to carry this thing through.''

Mr. Harris  said he did not plan to seek the Democratic Party endorsement for the seat.  He faulted the incumbent for not projecting a higher profile on council.

"Mr. Lavelle, I would say, is a very quiet councilman,'' he said.  "I havenet seen him produce much legislation or policy.  ... Ther is a time to be quiet, but there is also a time to shout and to lead, and I havenet seen that.


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