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Anthony Coghill wins easily in Pittsburgh City Council's lone contest

Bob Bauder
| Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, 9:36 p.m.
Anthony Coghill, 50, of Beechview celebrates his primary election victory with staffers at his campaign headquarters in Brookline on May 16, 2017.
Ben Filio for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Anthony Coghill, 50, of Beechview celebrates his primary election victory with staffers at his campaign headquarters in Brookline on May 16, 2017.
Anthony Coghill
Anthony Coghill
Cletus Cibrone Abate
Cletus Cibrone Abate

Longtime Beechview Democrat Anthony Coghill won a landslide victory Tuesday in his fourth attempt to represent Pittsburgh City Council's 4th District.

Coghill, 51, the owner of a Beechview roofing company, easily defeated Republican challenger Cletus Cibrone Abate of Overbrook, according to preliminary election results.

Coghill received 79.5 percent of the votes with all precincts reporting, according to unofficial Allegheny County election returns. Abate, 48, had 17.8 percent.

Coghill, whose campaign focused on improving basic city services for South Hills residents, attributed his victory to support from Democratic committee members, labor unions and elected officials.

“I think the people saw persistence in me, and they know I'm a hard worker,” Coghill said. “I knocked on every door in this district. This was going to be my last go at it, and it was all or broke.”

This was Abate's first run for elected office. The self-described community activist could not be reached for comment after the polls closed. Earlier in the day Abate said Pittsburgh suffers from poor government leaders.

“We know it's a Democrat machine in the city,” she said. “The dead would rise if it was a neck-and-neck race. I wasn't winning no matter what.”

Abate wanted to track Pittsburgh spending and provide better programming for seniors and children at local recreation and senior centers.

The district includes Beechview, Bon Air, Brookline, Carrick, Overbrook and part of Mt. Washington.

Coghill, who takes office in January, will replace Natalia Rudiak, 38, who did not run for re-election. His was the only contested Pittsburgh council race this year.

Upon taking office, Coghill said, he will immediately work to revitalize the Beechview business district and lobby for a new Department of Public Works division headquarters in the South Hills. The city condemned the old headquarters in Knoxville because of structural problems.

“I'm a blue collar guy,” he said. “I think that will bode well on council.”

Three council members were re-elected without opposition: Theresa Kail-Smith, 58, of Westwood in District 2; R. Daniel Lavelle, 40, of the Hill District in District 6; and Dan Gilman, 35, of Squirrel Hill in District 8.

Council members serve four-year terms and will be paid $66,371 in 2018.

In addition, Pittsburgh voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum that amends the city's home-rule charter to allow city employees to work at schools as part-time instructors or athletic coaches.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, or via Twitter @bobbauder.

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