EXPRESSING THEIR VIEWS—The candidates from left: William Anderson, Jake Wheatley, Ed Gainey and Jessica Wolfe. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

EXPRESSING THEIR VIEWS—The candidates from left: William Anderson, Jake Wheatley, Ed Gainey and Jessica Wolfe. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

Unlike past candidates’ forums hosted by the African American Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event—focusing on the two local State House seats held by African American Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District and Ed Gainey, D-East Liberty—featured a new venue, the Omni William Penn Hotel, and a new challenger Jessica Wolfe, a first-time candidate from Allentown.

But like past forums, it was graciously hosted by Chamber President and CEO Doris Carson Williams and skillfully moderated by New Pittsburgh Courier Publisher Rod Doss, who, despite the lateness of Gainey challenger William Anderson began by introducing the candidates, who then made brief opening statements before fielding questions.

Two-term East End Rep. Gainey touted his part in directing tax credit financing and development funds to Homewood and Larimer and in securing $3 million to assisting in moving Wilkinsburg High School students to Westinghouse for the upcoming school year.

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