A Democrat running for a North Side Pittsburgh City Council seat abruptly ended his campaign Thursday, saying another candidate successfully challenged him for failing to file a required statement of financial interest with the city.
Chris Rosselot, 38, of Troy Hill vowed to run as an independent in the November general election for a District 1 council seat held by Councilwoman Darlene Harris. Rosselot and three other candidates — Quincy Swatson of East Allegheny, Mark Brentley Sr. of Allegheny Center and Bobby Wilson of Spring Hill — lined up to challenge Harris in the May 21 Democratic primary. Harris, Swatson, Brentley and Wilson remain in the race.
Rosselot said Wilson, who has been endorsed by Mayor Bill Peduto, challenged his candidacy after he failed to file the financial statement with the council clerk.
“Unfortunately, you get lawyers involved to fight the challenge, and it’s just a lot of money,” he said. “I figured the best thing to do is continue on and fight in November in the general (election). It’s frustrating because I filed that form with (Allegheny County).”
Swatson, 27, said several North Side residents have also challenged his nominating petitions necessary to be listed on primary ballots. He vowed to fight the challenge.
“This is just another example of our city’s political machine intimidating and preventing our democratic process,” he said.
Rosselot said he filed the one-page financial form listing such things as sources of income and outstanding debt Wednesday, but the deadline was March 12. He said courts have sided with challengers in similar cases.
“Case law wasn’t with me, and financially it just made more sense,” he said.
Wilson, 36, issued a statement saying he is focused on bringing change to the North Side.
“I’d like to thank Chris Rosselot for his commitment to the district, and I’ll look forward to working with him for years to come,” he said.
Harris, 66, of Spring Hill and Brentley could not be reached for comment.