Franco Dok Harris, the 29-year-old son of Steelers Hall of Famer Franco Harris, announced plans today to run for mayor of Pittsburgh.
The Shadyside resident will not compete against Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and others in the May 19 Democratic primary, but rather as an independent in November. It will be his first run for office.
Those may seem like long odds, but Mr. Harris said he looks to Barack Obama as an example.
"A first time senator from Illinois somehow figured out how to take on and beat probably the biggest political machine ever known in this country. You do that by empowering individuals and giving them hope," he said in a phone interview.
Mr. Harris -- who has politics, law and business degrees -- said he wants to become mayor to help lead the city out of its still-looming fiscal problems.
A North Side native, he graduated from Sewickley Academy in 1997 and Princeton University in 2001, getting a degree in politics. After working in banking in Washington D.C., he returned to Pittsburgh to enter the joint law-business degree program at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business. He graduated last year.
Mr. Harris works for his family's business, Super Bakery Inc. He does not plan to do an official campaign launch until June but moved up his announcement to today after word leaked last week on the Internet.
His official campaign site is http://www.harrisforpittsburgh.com/
Mr. Ravenstahl formally announced his re-election bid today. City Councilman Patrick Dowd and Hill District attorney Carmen Robinson are also running for the Democratic nod.