Updated 10:21 p.m.
Mayor Bill Peduto wants to keep being Pittsburgh’s mayor.
“We haven’t finished the work that we started,” he said when he announced his bid for reelection at his annual holiday party, held tonight at Nova Place on the North Side.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us and a lot of hope ahead of us in order to see that Pittsburgh we know that it can be. We’re here tonight to announce that we’re running again. Another four years.”
After two unsuccessful attempts, Peduto was elected mayor in 2013 after incumbent Luke Ravenstahl declined to seek another term. The former Pittsburgh City Council member won 52 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, besting former Auditor General Jack Wagner, and easily beat his opponents in the general.
“The city is changing more in our lifetime right now than it’s changed in 50 years,” said Peduto, who was joined on stage by his late brother’s daughter, Emily. “And we have to make sure that it’s a Pittsburgh for all. And we have to make sure that we keep Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh.”
Peduto told reporters tonight that his focus for 2017 would be the affordable housing trust fund and a Pre-K trust fund and “creating opportunities for both of those initiatives to take place.”
So who will challenge Peduto this time around?
No one else has declared — yet.
Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said she will not run after she “gave it some consideration.” Councilwoman Darlene Harris, who has toyed with running in the past, told the Tribune-Review in March that she was considering it.
“It’s an opportunity for anybody to have a chance to run,” Peduto said when asked about a possible Harris candidacy. He added that when he ran for mayor in 2005, “People said that I had no chance at all and that I would lose my council seat.” He kept his seat and finished second to Bob O’Connor.
“If you asked me last year at this time if Donald Trump would be president, I’d say no. So, if Darlene decides to run, we’ll have a full campaign,” he continued. “We’ll both [talk about] what the accomplishments are of the past three years and also talk about what we intend to do in the next four.”
Also of note, the party featured a cookie table, beer from East End Brewing Company, local spirits and “Peduto Punch.”
What’s Peduto Punch? According to a bartender at the party, it’s Captain Morgan rum, ginger ale, pineapple, orange, cranberry and a little bit of soda water.