It's looking like former city council president Doug Shields may still leave city government and run for district judge, even though the seat he wanted is being abolished.
That date is significant because district judge candidates are prohibited from campaigning until the start of the calendar year. And campaigning they are.
Shields wanted to take the Squirrel Hill seat held by retiring DJ Nathan Firestone -- as a memo here shows, his district is being combined with another presided over by James Hanley, which had formerly overseen just the city's 15th and 31st wards (Greenfield and Lincoln Place). The newer, bigger district will cover those areas plus the 7th and 14th wards, aka Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.
Hanley is up for reelection this year so Shields is expected to challenge him. But the addition of the 7th and 14th (traditionally the most liberal parts of the East End) could also be helpful to other challengers, including former Common Pleas Court candidate Hugh McGough and city Law Department staffer/former Peduto staffer C.J. Liss.
The upshot: despite yesterday's announcement Shields still has a district judge seat to run for, but it won't be easy.