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For Pittsburgh mayor: Make it Jack Wagner

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Saturday, May 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

These continue to be challenging times for Pittsburgh.

It remains in the equivalent of state receivership.

It can't seem to solve the nagging vicious cycle of structural budget deficits.

Public employee pensions remain seriously underfunded and unsustainable.

The city is in a pitched battle with UPMC, its largest employer, over its tax-exempt status.

The police department, rocked by a slush-fund scandal, remains under federal investigation. And who knows what else the feds will find.

A woefully small percentage of registered voters will go to the polls on May 21 to select a mayor to replace lame-duck Democrat Luke Ravenstahl. The marginal Republican candidate says he's not in the race to win. Thus, the winner of the Democrats' four-way primary will become mayor in January.

Pittsburghers would best be served by choosing Jack Wagner.

Mr. Wagner's record of public service is as long as it is well known and highly respected. It began in Vietnam, where he served his country with great distinction and was seriously wounded. It continued as a paramedic, then on Pittsburgh City Council, in the Pennsylvania Senate and as state auditor general.

We don't agree with every public policy prescription Wagner offers. But he's an honest broker. And he's one of the most decent men we know. Jack Wagner is the adult in this race. And an adult leader is what Pittsburgh so sorely needs right now.

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