Former Allegheny County Executive Onorato not running for mayor

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Former county Executive Dan Onorato is not running for mayor.

His name found a prominent place amid the cascade of speculation that followed Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election.

Some Ravenstahl associates identified Mr. Onorato as the unnamed potential candidate that the mayor referred to in his withdrawal statement last Friday. But the Highmark executive released a statement late Monday disavowing the idea.

"I am not a candidate for mayor of Pittsburgh," Mr. Onorato said in the statement. "I enjoy being part of the Highmark management team promoting affordable, quality health care."

City Controller Michael Lamb and city Councilman Bill Peduto are the only declared candidates for the Democratic nomination but even with Mr. Onorato's decision, they could have lots of company soon.

Council President Darlene Harris is circulating nominating petitions for the primary and says she is keeping all her options open.Former Auditor General Jack Wagner is cutting short a trip to Israel in anticipation of a possible run.

State Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, is also considering the race, as is his colleague Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline. Another Harrisburg lawmaker, Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District, is also reportedly considering the race. Mr. Wheatley did not respond to a request for comment on the possibility.

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