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Leon Ford ends campaign for Pittsburgh City Council seat |

Leon Ford ends campaign for Pittsburgh City Council seat

Bob Bauder
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Leon Ford Jr. speaks to a crowd prior to Turahn Jenkins announcing his candidacy for Allegheny County District Attorney at Freedom Corner in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh on July 2, 2018. Leon Ford Jr. has ended his campaign for an East End Pittsburgh City Council seat.

Leon Ford on Tuesday ended his campaign for a Pittsburgh City Council seat representing part of the East End.

Ford, 26, an activist who was paralyzed after being shot by Pittsburgh police in 2012, said in an email that he decided “after several weeks of reflection” to drop out of the race because of other commitments.

Tuesday was the deadline for filing nominating petitions for the May 21 primary with the Allegheny County Elections Division.

“I will no longer be running for city council,” Ford said after thanking followers for support and financial assistance. “My other commitments have become too great for me to be able to fulfill the requirements of this position. I feel it is best for me to make room for someone who has the true ability to devote to this honor.”

Ford was running along with several other candidates for a seat held by Councilman Ricky Burgess, 62, of North Point Breeze, who is seeking a fourth term. Other candidates are Kierran Young, 26, of Stanton Heights; Judith K. Ginyard, 60, of Homewood; and Randall Taylor, 57, of East Liberty. All are Democrats.

Council’s District 9 includes East Hills, East Liberty, Friendship, Garfield, Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, Point Breeze and Stanton Heights.

Four other city council members are seeking re-election this year. They include Darlene Harris of Spring Hill, Bruce Kraus of South Side, Deb Gross of Highland Park and Corey O’Connor of Swisshelm Park. Challengers have announced campaigns against all except O’Connor.

Council members serve four-year terms. Salaries are $68,066 a year.

Primary voters this spring will also elect candidates for county and municipal offices.

“It was a pleasure experiencing this opportunity,” Ford said in the email. “I am so proud of everything we have accomplished over the past few months, and I have no doubt that we can continue these successes. I am still committed to using my platform to help ensure positive changes in the city of Pittsburgh, District 9.”

Ford was shot multiple times during a traffic stop in November 2012. He remains in a wheelchair. Pittsburgh settled a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Ford for $5.5 million in 2018.

He emerged as a central figure in protests around the city after Antwon Rose II was shot and killed by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld, who faces trial next week on a murder charge. Rosfeld, his attorney and Allegheny County prosecutors were in Harrisburg on Tuesday picking a jury for the trial.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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