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Old 11-06-2007, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default AP: Ravenstahl to be the winner in Pittsburgh mayor race


AP: Ravenstahl to be the winner in Pittsburgh mayor race
Ravenstahl with 64% of the vote with 26 percent of precincts reporting
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
By Jennifer C. Yates, The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- The city's 27-year-old mayor, elevated to the office after the death of the incumbent, overcame a series of missteps in his one year in office and today won the election to finish out his predecessor's term.

Luke Ravenstahl fended off a challenge from Republican businessman Mark DeSantis to serve the final two years of the late Mayor Bob O'Connor's term. Despite an aggressive campaign by DeSantis, Ravenstahl easily won in a city that hasn't elected a Republican since the Great Depression.

O'Connor had been in office just eight months when he died last year of a brain tumor. As City Council president, Ravenstahl was next in line to temporarily fill the seat.

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato said Ravenstahl was on the verge of "a solid victory."

With 26 percent of precincts reporting, the 27-year-old mayor had 13,355 votes, or 64 percent, compared with DeSantis' 7,206 votes, or 34 percent.

By 9:30 p.m., a small crowd of Ravenstahl supporters had gathered at a downtown hotel to wait for the results, but it was unclear when Ravenstahl would appear.

His spokeswoman, Alecia Sirk, said she was proud of the campaign he ran.

"Great things are happening when you look past the hype of the campaign," Sirk said.

His first year in office raised questions about whether his age and limited life experience may have been a liability.

He was dogged by a series of controversies over his conduct as mayor, including a private flight he made to New York with a co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins just hours after announcing a deal for a new, heavily subsidized hockey arena; a golf outing he took instead of attending a public hearing on domestic violence problems in the police department; and a Homeland Security-funded SUV he used to attend a Toby Keith concert with his wife and friends.

The 48-year-old DeSantis, a businessman and write-in-candidate, took advantage of the missteps to go after Ravenstahl and accuse him of being too green to run this city of 315,000.

He also got a boost when he received the endorsement of the city's two largest newspapers.

DeSantis and Ravenstahl met for seven debates, with DeSantis attacking Ravenstahl's lack of experience and the incumbent attacking DeSantis for contributing money to former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and other Republicans.

Ravenstahl, a former college quarterback, became the youngest member of City Council at age 23, and the youngest City Council president in 2005. Before entering public life, he worked briefly in sales.

DeSantis, who runs a high-tech firm, is a former aide to the late U.S. Sen. John Heinz and was a science policy adviser to the first President Bush. He also did similar work in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In the days before the election, DeSantis spent tens of thousands of dollars on TV spots. Ravenstahl focused on direct mailings and door-to-door campaigning.
More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Old 11-08-2007, 04:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: AP: Ravenstahl to be the winner in Pittsburgh mayor race

Speaking of the mayor, does anyone still have the Monday night's game recorded?

If I recall correctly, when they showed the picture of the mayor and his name, it was changed from raven to ruven - can anyone confirm?

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