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Ferlo says he hasn't decided on run for Pittsburgh mayor

| Friday, March 1, 2013, 2:51 p.m.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl (third from left) and state Sen. Jim Ferlo (fourth from left), with the help of community leaders, cut the ribbon on the Energy Community Outreach Center on Thursday June 21, 2012 in East Liberty. The EECO Center is a state-of-the-art green facility, redeveloped from an abandoned gas station, which will offer training and education to residents who are looking for ways to lower utility costs, upgrade existing appliances, and train for “green collar” jobs. James Knox | Tribune-Review

State Sen. Jim Ferlo said on Friday he might join the Pittsburgh mayoral race.

“Whether I am in the mix or not I have not determined yet,” the Highland Park Democrat said hours after Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he will not seek re-election.

Ferlo, a senator for 10 years and ally of the mayor, said others might consider running. “We will have to wait to see what happens over the weekend. ... I am sure there will be a beehive of activity.”

Controller Michael Lamb and Councilman Bill Peduto are running for the Democratic nomination in the May 21 primary, although Peduto is not seeking the party endorsement. Candidates' nominating petitions are due March 12.

Ferlo, 60, said the party should not endorse anyone.

“I don't think it is fair to have a Democratic endorsement at this point, and it would not be a legitimate process,” he said.

Ferlo served 14 years on City Council, including two terms as council president. The most recent proposal for a new legislative map merges his district with a suburban Republican area.

He said he is not emotionally inclined to support Peduto or Lamb: “It's not like I have some ax to grind with either of them. I just don't support them.”

About fellow Democrat Jack Wagner of Beechview, Ferlo noted the former state senator and auditor general often says he will run.

“So far he hasn't,” Ferlo said. Wagner told the Tribune-Review this week he is considering running as an independent in the fall.

Salena Zito is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at szito@tribweb.com.

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