NEWS - Mayor Peduto Gets A Challenger For Democratic Nomination



Mayor Peduto Gets A Challenger For Democratic Nomination

January 27, 2017 6:11 PM By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Move over Mayor Bill Peduto.

There’s another Democrat for mayor, and he says he’s starting a movement.

“For Pittsburgh to grow, we have to grow. And if we don’t grow, Pittsburgh won’t grow. This is the people’s movement.”

He’s the Rev. John Welch, a Presbyterian pastor, dean of students at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a Central Catholic High School and Carnegie Mellon University graduate.

“Somebody actually put on Facebook, who is this no-name? And I have a name. It’s John Welch,” he said to a crowd of supporters.

Welch says Peduto prefers development in certain neighborhoods to people who are in pain.

“It’s not fair when bike lanes take priority over blight,” he says. “It’s not fair when East Liberty can look like Monaco, and Beltzhoover looks like Monaca.”

Welch says developers get the priority under Peduto.

“Our communities should not be victims of speculators who want to turn our neighborhoods into monopoly boards.”

And Welch says his peoples movement is based on fairness.

“Before we become the most livable city, we must become the most equitable.”

Welch, who’s also chaplain to the Pittsburgh Police, says that means confronting racism.

“We’ve been talking about racism for far too long, and now we have to act to dismantle the structure that has allowed it to be pervasive.”

Welch admits its uphill against Peduto, telling political editor Jon Delano, “I’m willing to accept any and all challenges. That’s pretty much who I’ve been and who I am.”

The filing deadline for candidates to file nominating petitions to run for mayor is March 7, and the primary is May 16.



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