Pittsburgh Councilman Patrick Dowd on Wednesday endorsed sometimes-rival Councilman Bill Peduto's mayoral bid, a move that helps Mr. Peduto solidify his East End base in a race with dizzying combinations of endorsements.
Mr. Dowd, who has promoted regional collaboration, said he believes Mr. Peduto is the best candidate to further a city-Allegheny County partnership on shared challenges, such as public transit, economic development and water and sewer management. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is an early Peduto supporter.
Mr. Peduto and Mr. Fitzgerald are heading "a very strong, robust group of elected officials and other civic leaders who are interested in really solving some of the most intractable problems that we have," Mr. Dowd said. "We need people on the team to help move us forward."
Mr. Dowd of Highland Park has had personality and policy clashes with Mr. Peduto.
However, he's believed to have been moving toward Mr. Peduto for months because of their shared dislike of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration. Amid a federal investigation of police bureau corruption, Mr. Ravenstahl announced March 1 that he wouldn't seek re-election.
The loss of an incumbent has helped to fuel an endorsement free-for-all.
Some of Mr. Ravenstahl's supporters, including the firefighters union, have gravitated to the campaign of Jack Wagner of Beechview, the former city councilman, state senator and state auditor general. He entered the race after Mr. Ravenstahl withdrew.
Also seeking the Democratic nomination in the May 21 primary are state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District, and A.J. Richardson, a bus monitor from Sheraden who was arrested early Wednesday for drunken driving.
Squirrel Hill resident Josh Wander is the sole candidate for the GOP nomination.
In addition to that of Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Peduto of Point Breeze previously announced he has the support of city council members Bruce Kraus and Natalia Rudiak, who represent southern neighborhoods; state Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline; and state Reps. Ed Gainey, D-Larimer, and Erin C. Molchany, D-Mount Washington.
Mr. Wagner has the support of state Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, and city Controller Michael Lamb of Mount Washington. Mr. Ferlo and Mr. Lamb both dropped out of the mayor's race.
Joe Smydo: email@example.com. First Published April 3, 2013 2:30 PM