Candidate challenging Pittsburgh council president opposes gun restrictions
A University of Pittsburgh student announced plans this week to challenge Pittsburgh City Council President Bruce Kraus for his District 3 seat during this year’s Democratic primary.
Chris Kumanchik, 25, of Central Oakland is the third Democrat to oppose Kraus, who is seeking a fourth term.
The other candidates are Amy Schrempf, 42, of the South Side Flats and Ken Wolfe, 44, of Allentown. The primary election is May 21.
Kraus, 64, of South Side Flats did not return a message seeking comment.
Kumanchik, who is studying computer science at Pitt, describes himself as a “proud member” of the National Rifle Association. He opposes legislation sponsored by Kraus and other council members that would ban semi-automatic rifles within the city.
“Our city is suffering from a council which continues to introduce wasteful, useless and authoritarian ordinances,” he said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “We need leadership that is not afraid to stand up to these bullies and is willing to uphold the law.”
In an interview Wednesday, Kumanchik said the proposed gun ban would violate state law, which prohibits municipalities from regulating firearms.
“I don’t feel that it’s within their scope of power to do,” he said. “I think it’s up to the state and federal government to make those determinations.”
He said he would also focus on the South Side’s limited parking situation and have an open door for district residents.
“I’ve heard from the people out here in the district that they don’t feel that their voices have been heard,” he said.
Kumanchik is a state constable for Pittsburgh’s 4th Ward. This is his first run for elected office.
He owns RK Contracting LLC, a home repair and remodeling business, and serves as director of administration for the nonprofit Pennsylvania College Access Program. The program helps people obtain admission to college and operates out of an office on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
Kumanchik has an associate’s degree in math and computer information systems from the Community College of Allegheny County.
District 3 includes Central and South Oakland, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes and Pittsburgh’s South Hills neighborhoods.
Five of Pittsburgh’s nine council members are running for re-election this year. Council members serve 4-year terms. Their salary in 2019 is $68,066.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-564-3080, [email protected] or via Twitter .