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
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/17/2014

    April 16, 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