Only 2 seek Dem nod in Pgh7

Published by Tim McNulty on .

There are no surprises in the field of those running for the Democratic committee's endorsement in the open District 7 city council seat formerly held by Patrick Dowd.

The only two candidates who filed for the nod by today's deadline are the two openly campaigning: city Housing Authority worker Tony Ceoffe Jr. of Lawrenceville and community activist Deb Gross of Highland Park. Committee members in the East End district will vote on their candidate from 9 am til noon on Sunday at the Teamsters Temple in Lawrenceville.

Both Ceoffe and Gross are committee members themselves (Ceoffe is the 6th Ward chairman; Gross an 8th ward committeewoman due to her old address in Bloomfield) so one of the story lines Sunday will be whether the candidate who comes in second stays in the race. They (like anyone else in the East End district) could run as an independent but some would see that as a rebuke of the party structure they are both part of.

Gross's candidacy is an test of Dem mayoral nominee Bill Peduto's newfound political muscle, as he and others in his orbit (including county exec Rich Fitzgerald) are pushing for her over Ceoffe, the son of Lawrenceville's district judge and Dowd's primary opponent in 2011.

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