Libya, lip sync, Luke a lock?
By Eric Heyl
You probably have been too engrossed by Benghazi testimony or the Beyonce lip-sync controversy to notice, but a mayor's race is occurring.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is being challenged by city Councilman Bill Peduto and city Controller Michael Lamb in the May 21 Democratic primary. That's the de facto mayoral election. The city's GOP mayoral candidates traditionally serve as nothing more than election day ottomans, upon which the prohibitive Democratic favorites comfortably rest their tootsies while watching the returns come in.
Ravenstahl is the favorite, if only for the fact that city residents haven't voted out a sitting mayor in 80 years. But the race remains worth monitoring, for the mayor's job is important. If it wasn't, there's no way Ravenstahl would have snagged a cameo in last year's Batman movie that was filmed here.
So quit dwelling on Benghazi and Beyonce. Get up to speed on what each of these guys brings to the campaign:
Ravenstahl: City firefighters union; presumably movie director Christopher Nolan, who cast him in “The Dark Knight Rises” in a role many city residents believe he is more qualified for than mayor: placekicker.
Peduto: Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; presumably rapper Wiz Khalifa, who recently received a Peduto-sponsored city proclamation in a failed attempt by the councilman to convince voters he's hip.
Lamb: Already has received the backing of a significant demographic: The baristas at Cannon Coffee in Brookline, where he announced his candidacy last week.
Ravenstahl: So green people reasonably could conclude he has a stomach virus.
Peduto: As Khalifa put it in his hit song, “Roll Up”: “Not saying I'm the richest man alive, but I'm in the game.”
Lamb: Nothing to see here, people. Move along, move along.
Keys to victory
Ravenstahl: Encouraging the other two candidates to remain in the race to split the opposition vote, even if it means donating significant money to their campaigns.
Peduto: Either convince Lamb to drop out of the race, or cloud-seed on a winter weekend when Ravenstahl is out of town. Manipulating the weather could trigger both a major snowstorm and recollections of the mayor's much-criticized absence during the paralyzing 2010 blizzard.
Lamb: Subtly note his qualifications by consistently carrying around a copy of his law degree while repeatedly asking his opponents if they have one.
Potential bumper sticker slogans
Ravenstahl: “Pittsburgh Shouldn't Mess With What Can Be Passed Off As Success.”
Peduto: “Why Not a Wonk?” or “It's What Wiz Would Want.”
Lamb: “Don't Let Other Mayoral Candidates Pull The Wool Over Your Eyes.”
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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