Black voter turnout key in mayoral primary

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In Downtown and Uptown districts, he battled to a three-way tie with Wagner and Wheatley. The fourth candidate, A.J. Richardson, was not a factor in any ward, gathering less than 1 percent of the vote citywide.

Though Peduto captured those parts of Wheatley’s state legislative district on the North Side and South Side, that did not harm Wheatley ally city Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, whose district is nearly a mirror image.

Lavelle finished with 2,032 votes, almost twice the 1,101-vote tally of his closest rival former Councilwoman Tonya Payne, and more than three times the 666-vote total of attorney Franco “Dok” Harris.

No Republican filed to run in Council District 6 and Lavelle is unlikely to face a challenge from an Independent candidate in the November General Election. Peduto, on the other hand, will face Republican Josh Wander, whose 2,017-vote winning primary total was less than 10 percent of Peduto’s 23,597.

It is also possible he could face a challenge from city council President Darlene Harris. After briefly jumping into the Democratic Primary race, Harris changed her registration to Independent just hours before the deadline to do so on April 22.

Harris has not yet said what her plans are and has until Aug. 1 to decide. She would need to collect only 485 petition signatures, 2 percent of the most recent citywide election total, to get on the ballot.

(Send comments to cmorrow@newpittsburghcourier.com.)

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