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Three candidates enter race for Pittsburgh City Council seat vacated by Peduto

| Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, 10:16 a.m.
Dan Gilman, Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto’s chief of staff, is running for his boss' District 8 seat in the May 21 primary.
Jeanne Clark, Democratic candidate for the District 8 seat on City Council in the May 21 primary election.
Sam Hens-Greco, Democratic candidate for the District 8 City Council seat being vacated by Bill Peduto.

Three East End residents said Tuesday they will run next year for the 8th District council seat that Councilman Bill Peduto is vacating while he runs for Pittsburgh mayor.

Peduto's Chief of Staff Dan Gilman, 30, of Shadyside announced his candidacy, saying his experience makes him the best person for the job.

Jeanne Clark, 63, of Shadyside, communications director for the environmental group PennFuture, and Downtown attorney Sam Hens-Greco, 56, of Point Breeze also entered the race. Clark chairs the 7th Ward Democratic Committee and Hens-Greco the 14th Ward Democratic Committee.

“I'm absolutely passionate about the city of Pittsburgh and particularly District 8,” Gilman said. “After nine years, I see the great things in Pittsburgh and the problems that remain.”

Peduto wants to unseat Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in the May 21 primary. The councilman said he will not seek election to his council seat again. If he loses, Peduto will be unemployed, but the four-term councilman said he hasn't planned past the mayor's race.

“I'm all in. There is no safety net,” said Peduto, who is supporting Gilman in the council race. “I've done everything I can do on council, and I think it's time to give somebody else a chance.”

Peduto is only the second councilman to represent the 8th district since it was created before the 1989 election. Before his election in 2001, Peduto worked as chief of staff for Councilman Dan Cohen, now an O'Hara attorney.

Clark and Hens-Greco said they are seeking community support and organizing campaign committees. Both said they have worked to improve the lives of others, and would continue doing that on council.

“It's an excellent opportunity to continue my life's work to make a real difference,” Clark said.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald suggested that Clark run for the seat, she said. Fitzgerald confirmed he is supporting her in the election.

“My professional life and legal career have involved working with families and people to work through problems,” Hens-Greco said.

Both Peduto and Gilman said they expect more candidates in the district, which covers Shadyside and parts of Squirrel Hill, Oakland, Bloomfield, Point Breeze and Friendship.

Gilman named David Caliguiri, son of late Pittsburgh Mayor Richard Caliguiri, of Squirrel Hill as chair of his political action committee. He said if elected he will focus on advocating for the growth of educational and medical institutions in the East End while protecting the rights of property owners, improving city services and working to attract innovative businesses to the city.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

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