In a surprise upset, state Rep. Ed Gainey is poised to win the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the next mayor of Pittsburgh.
Mayor Bill Peduto conceded the race to Gainey on Twitter just before 10:30 p.m: “I just called @gainey_ed and congratulated him on earning the Democratic endorsement for Mayor of the city of Pittsburgh. Wishing him well. Thank you Pittsburgh for the honor of being your Mayor these past 8 years. I will remain forever grateful.”
Peduto and Gainey had been neck-and-neck most of the evening after the polls closed at 8 p.m., but Gainey continued to add votes. As of 10:50 p.m. with 255 of 402 precincts reporting, Gainey had 18,829 votes, or 44.17 percent, to Peduto’s 17,832 votes, or 41.83 percent.
If the results hold, Gainey is almost certain to become Pittsburgh’s first-ever Black mayor, as Democrats usually win in Pittsburgh city elections.
Gainey spoke to a crowd of cheering supporters after Peduto conceded that “one person can’t change a city, a city is changed when we all come together to improve the quality of life for everybody,” he said. “I believe we can have a city for all. We will work to build a city for everybody, and leave you with a better city than we have today. We will do all we have to do to make this a city that is welcoming to everybody.”
A tearful Peduto addressed his supporters at 10:45 p.m., saying he did not have regrets because he had had the chance to live his dream. “Thirty years of my life, and tonight it went by like that,” he said, snapping his fingers.