WPTS on Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
By Matt Singer, Assistant News Director
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced his plans to drop his bid for re-election in a press conference Friday morning.
His decision to not seek re-election comes amid controversy regarding the Pittsburgh police bureau, which is currently under investigation by both the FBI and the IRS. After meeting with representatives from the FBI and the United States Department of Justice, Mayor Ravenstahl asked Police Chief Nate Harper to resign, adding more fuel to the firestorm of speculation.
Mayor Ravenstahl made sure to frequently restate his firm belief that he did nothing wrong, culminating in him saying, “truth will prevail.”
He expects the citizens of Pittsburgh to agree, but it may take time for many to understand.
Upon completing this term, Mayor Ravenstahl will have served for seven years.
“The city I ran for office to represent in 2003 no longer exists. It’s so much different today. It’s evolved into a bigger and better place,” Mayor Ravenstahl reflected.
After the death of Mayor Bob O’Connor died in 2006, Mayor Ravenstahl assumed the position and has since received both praise and criticism for his tenure.
“Ten years ago this month, I began the journey that has led me to where I stand today,” said Mayor Ravenstahl early in his announcement, his voice heavy with weary passivity.
“I was an ambitious and energized 23-year-old determined to make his neighborhood and city better.”
Mayor Ravenstahl served as a City Council member for the first district from 2004 to 2006.
Citing the “nasty and vicious” allegations being levied against him, the Mayor reminded attendees that the people who pay the biggest price are the people closest to him. Flanked by his mother and father, he made several nods to the loving support of his family through his term as Mayor.
“My next job will be T-ball coach,” said the Mayor with a smile about his future job prospects. “I’m excited this April to coach my son’s T-ball team.”
When questioned on whether or not he will support one of the two candidates currently running for the office, City Councilman Bill Peduto and City Controller Michael Lamb, the Mayor said that he would encourage new names to enter the race.
Mayor Ravenstahl gave ambiguous answers on what he and his campaign plan to do with his campaign war chest, valued at roughly $900,000. He said that he and his donors would discuss the future of the money in the coming weeks.
He was resolute in not answering questions as to whom he has in mind, and refused several attempts by reporters to glean any clues.
The Mayor said multiple times that he felt good about where he was and what he had done for Pittsburgh.
“It’s become so much better, and I’m proud of my role in making this city what it is today.”