The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

March 1, 2013

Pgh. mayor won’t seek re-election

PITTSBURGH — Luke Ravenstahl, Pittsburgh’s youngest mayor, won’t seek re-election after deciding the burdens of the job were too much to bear for himself, his family and friends.

Ravenstahl, who became mayor at 26, said Friday he would serve out his term, but blamed the “grueling demands” of the job as he discounted suspicions that an ongoing federal investigation of the police force played a role.

Instead, he said that he had accomplished a dream and was ready to move on.

“I’ve done nothing wrong, and that will be proven over time,” he said, sounding relieved, calm and confident of his decision.

Ravenstahl took dozens of questions from reporters, but had no answer for one: Exactly what caused him to withdraw from the race just 10 days after he declared his candidacy?

Ravenstahl said his doubts began two years ago. His seven-year marriage to a high school sweetheart ended in 2011, and at the time, Ravenstahl said his wife was uncomfortable with his political career and the limelight.

He is also in the midst of a federal investigation of city police business that led him to ask for the resignation of the city’s police chief.

Ravenstahl said he’s not a target of the FBI probe, which is believed to center on a fund the police bureau kept for fees that bars and other businesses paid the city for using its off-duty police officers as security guards. That money was then spent on city activities, including expense accounts for the mayor’s bodyguards.

The rigors of denying wrongdoing in the wake of such reports, he said, also played a role in his decision because he and his staff were “spending more time doing things or responding to things that are simply false, that are harmful and hurtful,” than on city business.

“It’s something that is the nature of the business, but something that, you know, clearly is what I guess I enjoy the least about the business,” Ravenstahl said.

The mayor also said reports that his mother’s health led to his decision were untrue, gesturing to his left where she stood without detailing those problems.

“Also as you can see, my mom is great. She looks amazing. ... She does have some medical issues that she is dealing with, but I am confident that she will overcome and defeat them,” he said.

City Councilman Bill Peduto and Controller Michael Lamb are the remaining candidates for the Democratic primary in May, and former City Council president and former state Auditor General Jack Wagner is said to be mulling an independent candidacy.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads