Democratic Committee members from Brookline's 19th ward, one of the largest and most vote rich in the city, assembled for their candidates night Tuesday night in anticipation of the party's March 10 endorsement vote. Conspicuous in his absence was Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, one of the two candidates seeking the party rank-and-file's backing in the mayoral primary.
The mayor's campaign aides who were there asked that a surrogate be allowed to speak in his place. Pete Wagner, the ward chairman, explained that that would violate the group's rules, but agreed to put it to a vote of the committee members. Only one voted to allow a substitution, so city Controller Michael Lamb ended up being the only mayoral candidate to speak before the committee members were able to enjoy a long line speeches from Common Pleas Court hopefuls. Bill Peduto is also running in the Democratic primary for mayor but he wasn't invited because he is not seeking the party endorsement.
Aletheia Henry , the mayor's campaign manager, said he was forced to skip the party event because his mother was ill.
On Wednesday, WESA had expected the mayor for its one-year anniversary show but, the station reported shortly after noon that "We had planned to bring you an interview with the mayor, however he was called away for an emergency.''
Over the weekend, Mayor Ravenstahl was scheduled to attend two events connected with the Steel City Codefest at Google's Larimer offices, but missed those as well. Joanna Doven, his press secretary, told the Post-Gazette then that, "The mayor was attending to essential city business and regrettably, could not attend.''