Here's a wrinkle ER hadn't thought of. Mr. Ravenstahl made a public and emphatic announcement of his decision to forego re-election last week, but for now, his name remains on the ballot for this Sunday's endorsement vote by the Democratic city Committee. The only other candidate in that preliminary competition is city Controller Michael Lamb. The logical conclusion that Mr. Lamb will be the automatic recipient of the party backing. But unless Mr. Ravenstahl withdraws his name from the party contest, it will still be before the committee voters -- raising the possibility that some could still vote for the mayor.
The other declared candidate, Councilman Bill Peduto, in a decision he may now regret, chose not to seek the endorsement at a time when Mr. Ravenstahl appeared the prohibitive favorite. To clarify the fast-moving situation, Nancy Patton Mills, who chairs the Allegheny County democratic Party, sent Mr. Ravenstahl a letter Monday, requesting him to make a formal request to have his name struck from the ballot. If he does not do so by 5 p.m. Wednesday, she said, it will remain on the Sunday ballot. That scenario could be a headache for Mr. Lamb. He would still, presumably, get the endorsement by default when the March 12 candidate filing deadline passes, but a sizable vote for the former candidate could cloud perceptions of Mr. Lamb's committee coronation.