The next phase of the Pittsburgh mayor's race is underway, with two campaigns announcing their union endorsements in the runup to the all-important May 21 Democratic primary.
Incumbent Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's campaign announced the support of six labor groups today in a letter posted on his campaign website. They include: Steamfitters Local 449; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 5; Firefighters Local 1; Operating Engineers Local 66; the Pittsburgh Building Trades Council*; and the Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters.
UPDATE: Building Trades business manager Rich Stanizzo is supporting Ravenstahl but the full business council will not vote on candidates until early March. It takes a two-thirds vote to get the support of the umbrella labor organization.
Councilman Bill Peduto's campaign is set to announce two endorsements of its own, from Service Employees International Union 32 BJ and the Laborer's District Council of Western Pa.
Controller Michael Lamb's team didn't respond to a request for information on labor support.
The endorsements for both Ravenstahl and Peduto were telegraphed in their campaign finance reports, with the IBEW, firefighters, Operating Engineers and Carpenters giving heavily to the incumbent and the laborers backing Peduto.
Ravenstahl's reports include $53K in major union PAC giving (including the top contribution of $8K from a Carpenters local in Philly), Peduto's $5K and Lamb's $6K (indlucing $2,500 from a painters union based in Maryland and $3.4K from Plumbers Local 27, which also gave $4K to Ravenstahl).