Luke Ravenstahl won his second term as mayor of Pittsburgh last night with a whopping 55 percent of the vote.
His next closest oppenent, Dok Harris, received 25 percent of the vote, and independent candidate Kevin Acklin got 19 percent of the vote.
Ravenstahl’s win was expected, in part because voter turnout tends to be lower during off-year elections when politicians aren’t running for federal offices.
Only 22 percent of Pittsburgh’s 235,000 registered voters showed up to the polls. This was lower than the last two mayoral contests where turnout was 25 and 29 percent. And Ravenstahl only garnered 28,000 votes, much lower than the 42,000 he received when he beat DeSantis in 2007.
But the numbers don’t discount the fact that Ravenstahl still had the support of a broad swath of Pittsburghers.
Dave Williams, of Spring Hill, said he voted for the incumbent because Luke’s "just doing the job." Other voters had similar reasons. Some cited the fact that his opponents didn’t have anything to offer. Others said they had high hopes for the young mayor, who still had many years to prove himself.
Ravenstahl’s election party at Mullin’s on the Northshore was well-attended, but it didn’t appear as if supporters were holding their breath. One campaign aide said he owed Paul McKrell, the Mayor’s campaign manager, six shots because he promised him a shot for every 5 percentage points Ravenstahl received over his nearest challenger.
For his part, Ravenstahl seems used to the success. He left Mullin’s early while the party was still in high gear.
In another Northside-related contest, Robert Daniel Lavelle received 78 percent of the votes to fill the District 6 seat on city council. Lavelle beat current District 6 councilwoman Tonya Payne in the spring primary for the Democratic nomination.
Payne mobilized a final-hour write-in campaign, which called and dropped leaflets at the homes of many residents of Manchester and the Central Northside. Both leaflets and callers begged voters not to vote for "another Lavelle," referring to the candidate’s father of the same name who was fined by the Treasury Department for mismanaging Dwelling House Savings & Loan in the Hill District. The write-in campaign was reportedly helping voters fill out ballots until Judge Edward Borkowski ordered a cease and desist motion.
Payne’s write-in campaign still received 21 percent of the votes, a large margin for any write-in campaign.