Peduto won't seek Dem committee nod

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Bill Peduto isn't seeking the Democratic Committee's endorsement in the Pittsburgh mayor's race and city councilman Daniel Lavelle has another opponent in his reelection campaign -- former councilwoman Tonya Payne.

Those are the two big stories out of today's deadline for seeking the party machinery's nod at their meeting March 10 in advance of the May 21 primary.

Peduto tried and failed to get the committee's endorsement in his brief 2007 run against Mayor Luke Ravenstahl so this year he said his team is going to concentrate instead on looking for grassroots support rather than from city committee members with ties to the incumbent. City Controller Michael Lamb is seeking the party committee nod however.

Only Lavelle and Payne are seeking the committee endorsement for the District 6 seat -- not Dok Harris, who announced he's running for the seat too. In District 2 only incumbent Theresa Kail Smith is running for it, and in District 6 incumbent Natalia Rudiak is not runnning for the endorsement, leaving it for newcomver John Lee.

In council District 8 all three announced candidates -- Jeanne Clark, Sam Hens-Greco and Dan Gilman -- are seeking it.

State Democratic Party chair Jim Burn is not running for reelection to his county council District 3 seat. Democrats Shawn Flaherty (who briefly served as a state Rep after Jeff Habay went down on public corruption charges) is seeking the nod as is Mary Gibson, the corporate counsel for Giant Eagle.

UPDATE: According to the Ravenstahl campaign, the bow-out means Peduto is not a serious candidate:

Being able to compete for the endorsement – which requires knocking on hundreds of doors and reaching out to Democrats across the city – is a key test of a campaign's viability.

More than just an important symbol, winning the endorsement provides candidates with additional valuable resources for their campaigns.

"Any serious candidate should be capable of and proud to compete for their party's endorsement," Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. "I'm confident, with our experienced staff and enthusiastic volunteers, we will win this critical first race within the race."

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