Will 422 be Darlene Harris's lucky number?
Allegheny County voter registration records confirm the Pittsburgh City Council president changed her registration to independent on April 22, preserving her ability to run against Democrat Bill Peduto in the November mayor's race. The documentation was officially stamped at 4:22 p.m. that day, just 38 minutes before the party-switching deadline.
Mrs. Harris confirmed the party switch to the Post-Gazette yesterday but would not elaborate on her political intentions.
She was previously a Democrat. State law requires independent general election candidates to be disaffiliated with their parties at least 30 days before the primary. Since the 30-day deadline was Saturday, April 20, she had until April 22 to make the switch.
She has until Aug. 1 to make a decision. To get on the ballot she would need 485 petition signatures from registered city voters -- that total equals 2 percent of the votes cast in the last citywide election for controller in 2011.
No other Democratic names previously associated with the mayor's race -- including Controller Michael Lamb, state Sen. Jim Ferlo or city councilman Ricky Burgess -- switched their registration, according to the records.