After Tuesday's primary election, just one newcomer appears bound for Pittsburgh City Council as three incumbents secured Democratic nominations in their respective districts.
But despite the familiar faces, the nine-member body could see a shift in dynamics as a sometimes polarizing member of council, Bill Peduto, appears headed for the mayor's office.
Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak of District 4 and Councilman Daniel Lavelle of District 6 both declared victory over challengers, while Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith ran unopposed in District 2. In District 8, a seat currently held by Mr. Peduto, his chief of staff Dan Gilman handily won in a three-way race.
Republicans Samuel Hurst of Brookline and Mordecai Treblow of Squirrel Hill will face off against the Democrats in Districts 4 and 8. Ms. Kail-Smith and Mr. Lavelle have no Republican opposition.
In District 4, which encompasses much of Pittsburgh's South Hills, Ms. Rudiak, the incumbent, edged out challenger Johnny Lee, a retired supervisor with the U.S. Postal Service best known for his career as a high school basketball coach. Ms. Rudiak emerged as an ally of Mr. Peduto when she was elected four years ago.
In her campaign, she boasted of the development and projects she has brought to the South Hills, whose residents sometimes feel their border community is forgotten. She pledged to continue work on development in the community.
"Everybody is honestly just ecstatic about continuing the work we've been doing over the past four years," she said. "We have so many irons in the fire right now."
She cited work on Brookline Boulevard, transit-oriented development on Route 51, and the construction of a community and senior center.
In the sprawling District 2, incumbent Councilman Daniel Lavelle faced stiff competition from Tonya Payne, a well-known Hill District political figure. Franco "Dok" Harris, the son of Steelers Hall of Famer Franco Harris who launched an unsuccessful run for mayor four years ago, also ran. Mr. Lavelle beat both handily.
Mr. Lavelle touted his accomplishments during his first term on council and his achievements as vice chairman of the city Urban Redevelopment Authority's board, including the redevelopment of the Garden Theater block on the North Side. He said he's encouraged the participation of women- and minority-owned businesses in development projects.
He said he's excited to continue his work on development in the Lower Hill District that's anchored on the Consol Energy Center, among other things. He said that District 2, which encompasses the Hill District, Downtown and a slice of the North Side, sent a message in delivering him a clear victory.
"Ultimately, what it means is that the constituency ... looked at what's been done over the last four years [and] they decided that we needed to build on the momentum," he said.
Mr. Gilman, 30, is Mr. Peduto's chief of staff and has worked in District 8, which includes Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and other East End neighborhoods, for nine years. He delivered a clear victory over challengers Jeanne Clark and Sam Hens-Greco.
"It's a thank you from the district for the work that I've done for the last nine years," he said, adding that he prevailed because his message of "a need to modernize city government, a need to change city hall and a need to change the way we do economic development to attract new companies and young people" resonated with voters.
Although the council roster will remain mostly the same, the power base will inevitably shift with the departure of Mr. Peduto. Mr. Peduto was often pegged as the leader of the anti-Mayor Luke Ravenstahl coalition. Several council members, including Ms. Kail-Smith, Councilman Ricky Burgess and council President Darlene Harris, backed his challenger, former state auditor general and former city Councilman Jack Wagner.
Correction: An earlier version of this story omitted the names of Republicans running for Pittsburgh City Council seats. (Published May 22, 2013)
Moriah Balingit: email@example.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee. First Published May 22, 2013 5:00 AM