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Could become third African American State Representative in Western Pennsylvania

Since first being tutored in public service by his godmother and former McKeesport Councilwoman Loretta Diggs, and later by then-Mayor, state Sen. Jim Brewster, Austin Davis has been bitten by the political bug.

Now, having risen through the Democratic Party ranks to become an assistant to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Davis has an opportunity to increase the number of African American state legislators in Western Pennsylvania to three, and the first from outside the City of Pittsburgh—and he’s taking it.


On Sept. 12, Davis, 27, announced his run for the 35th district state House seat being vacated by state Rep. Marc Gergely, which includes Davis’ hometown of McKeesport, as well as Clairton, Duquesne, Lincoln, Munhall, South Versailles Township, Versailles, Whitaker, White Oak and parts of West Mifflin.

“I’ve lived here all my life and have seen the challenges the district has gone through, and thought the best way for me to serve was to run for this office,” Davis said in an exclusive interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier. “I’m not a newcomer, I’m a lifelong volunteer in the district and I believe this is a great opportunity to move the district forward.”

Legislatively, Davis said he plans to focus on four priorities: Jobs, education, transportation and public safety.

“We’re not going to see a reduction in crime without families sustaining jobs. We need to support and foster Marcellus Shale development and related jobs,” he said.

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