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Ceoffe confirms council bid

Published by Tim McNulty on .

A Lawrenceville activist and city Housing Authority worker confirmed Friday that he will run again for the City Council seat vacated this week by Patrick Dowd.

Tony Ceoffe, 29, said he will make his special election run for the District 7 seat official at a Saturday morning rally at Doughboy Square. He is a client placement specialist for the Pittsburgh Housing Authority, son of Lawrenceville District Justice Tony Ceoffe and chair of the Democratic committee in the city's 6th Ward. He is vice president of the community group Lawrenceville United.

Other confirmed candidates include Deb Gross, 47, a Highland Park resident and former director of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance and Jim Wudarczyk, 61, of Bloomfield. Both Mr. Ceoffe and Ms. Gross intend to seek the Democratic committee's endorsement in the race, though they can also run as indepedents.

Mr. Ceoffe said he was confident he would be tapped by a vote of the 108 committee members in the district, but would not address Friday if he would as an independent should he not win their nod.

The endorsement vote in advance of the Nov. 5 special election to fill the last two years in Mr. Dowd's term has not been scheduled. Others -- including Ravenstahl aide Paul McKrell -- may make bids but they haven't formally announced.

Mr. Ceoffe unsucessfully challenged Mr. Dowd in 2011. Whereas Ms. Gross is expected to have the support of Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Peduto in the race, Mr. Ceoffe said he would bring an independent voice to the council body.

"Bill has a lot of great ideas for the city, but the only way to have a productive council is to have strong, independent thinkers," he said.

The district represents the eastern neighborhoods of Bloomfield, Friendship, Highland Park, Lawrenceville, Morningside, Polish Hill, Stanton Heights and the Strip District.

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