Two Democrats topped $1 million for 2013 mayoral primary

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City Councilman Bill Peduto always said the Democratic mayoral primary would be a million-dollar race, and it was that and more for him and his chief rival, former state Auditor General Jack Wagner.

Mr. Wagner outspent the eventual nominee, $1,525,845 to $1,161,149, according to reports on file with the Allegheny County Division of Elections. Mr. Peduto had the bigger number that counted, with 23,597 votes to 18,060 in the low-turnout race that also included state Rep. Jake Wheatley and A.J. Richardson. That worked out to roughly $49 a vote for the winner and $84 for each ballot cast for Mr. Wagner.

The latest reports covered the period from May 7 through June 10, completing the accounting from the May 21 primary. Post-primary reports for Mr. Wheatley and Mr. Richardson hadn't arrived at the elections division by the close of business Thursday.

Mr. Peduto's campaign committee started the year with a balance of $290,942. He collected another $685,682 between the beginning of the year and the last reporting deadline in the first week of May, and $236,423 more by June 10. He started the general election campaign against Republican Josh Wander with a balance of $21,897.

Mr. Wagner, entering the race late, after Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's surprise March decision not to seek re-election, started out with $371,246 transferred from his state fundraising account. He made up for lost time quickly, collecting another $865,402 by May 6, and an additional $382,452 after that.

Among Mr. Peduto's major late campaign contributions were two gifts, totaling $45,000, from the Western Pennsylvania Laborers Political Action Fund. Mr. Wagner's late receipts included a contribution of $25,000 from newspaper publisher Richard Mellon Scaife.

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Politics Editor James O'Toole: jotoole@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1562.


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