Bill Peduto

William Mark Peduto[2] (born October 30, 1964)[3] is an American politician who serves as the 60th Mayor of Pittsburgh. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a member of the Pittsburgh City Council from 2002 until 2014.[4]

Bill Peduto
60th Mayor of Pittsburgh
Assumed office
January 6, 2014
Preceded byLuke Ravenstahl
Member of the Pittsburgh City Council
from the 8th district
In office
January 7, 2002  January 6, 2014
Preceded byDan Cohen
Succeeded byDan Gilman[1]
Personal details
William Mark Peduto

(1964-10-30) October 30, 1964
Political partyDemocratic
EducationCarnegie Mellon University
Pennsylvania State University, University Park (BA)
University of Pittsburgh (MPA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Prior to being elected to City Council, Peduto attended Pennsylvania State University, from which he took a leave of absence before later completing his degree. He ran a consulting business and later served as Chief of Staff to his predecessor in City Council, Dan Cohen. Peduto was elected to City Council in 2001 and served from 2002 until 2014. During that time, he ran for Mayor of Pittsburgh three times. In 2005, he ran in the Democratic primary but was defeated by Bob O'Connor, who went on to become mayor in 2006. Peduto again ran in a 2007 special election following O'Connor's death; however, he dropped out before the primary. He ran for mayor for a third time in 2013, this time winning the Democratic nomination and emerging victorious.

In the 2013 election, Peduto defeated opponents Joshua Wander and Lester Ludwig, winning 84% of the vote. After being elected Mayor to succeed the outgoing Luke Ravenstahl, Peduto was inaugurated in January 2014. In the 2017 election, he was re-elected to a second term as Mayor, winning 96% of the vote in an election with no opposing candidates.[5]

Education and early career

Peduto was born on October 30, 1964, and graduated from Chartiers Valley High School in 1983. After one year at Carnegie Mellon University, Peduto transferred to Pennsylvania State University, pursuing a degree in political science while simultaneously becoming president of the University's chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.[6] He dropped out, however, before completing the degree requirements. In 2007, Peduto returned to finish his degree requirements and became the only member of the nine-member Pittsburgh City Council at the time to have a bachelor's degree.[7]

Later, he received a master's degree in public policy and management from the University of Pittsburgh.[8][7][9]

Peduto operated a political consulting business and served as general consultant, campaign manager, finance director and other roles for several Democratic candidates and elected officials. At 28, he served as a political director for then-acting Governor Mark Singel. He also worked in Washington, D.C. as an intern to then-U.S. Representative George Gekas.[9][10]

Prior to holding a seat on the city council, Peduto served as chief of staff to former City Councilman Dan Cohen. In 1996 Peduto was Cohen's campaign manager in a challenge to former U.S. Representative Bill Coyne in the Democratic primary. Peduto is reported to have urged Cohen to accuse Coyne of complacency when it came to obtaining federal funding and other resources for the Pittsburgh area.[11] Cohen lost by a wide margin, which some pundits attributed to voter dislike of his negative advertising.[12]

Pittsburgh City Council

In the 2001 election, Bill Peduto ran for the Pittsburgh City Council District 8 seat being vacated by Dan Cohen, which represents the East End neighborhoods of Bloomfield, Friendship, Oakland, Point Breeze, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. After being elected to a four-year term, he assumed office in January 2002. He was subsequently re-elected to two additional terms in 2005 and 2009.[9]

On the City Council, he chaired the Committee on General Services, Technology and the Arts. The Committee is in charge of all contracts and purchases as well as city owned buildings and land. Peduto also oversaw the City Information Systems department, the Cable Bureau and the Art Commission on Council. Peduto describes himself as a proponent of progressivism and as a "Reform Democrat."[13] He was named one of "100 New Democrats to Watch" by the Democratic Leadership Council in 2003 and one of National Journal's "PA Up and Comers" in 2004 and 2006.[14]

Mayoral campaigns

Peduto launched his first campaign for Mayor of Pittsburgh in the 2005 mayoral election. He was defeated in the primary, however, by eventual general election winner Bob O'Connor. In 2006, following O'Connor's death, City Council President Luke Ravenstahl became Mayor. In his second bid for Mayor, Peduto mounted a primary challenge to Ravenstahl in the 2007 special election. Peduto ended his campaign before the primary, however, acknowledging Ravenstahl's relative popularity at the time.[15] Peduto faced criticism for this decision from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial board, which accused him of "political cowardice."[16]

Peduto became a political opponent of Ravenstahl's, opposing Ravenstahl's proposal to end Act 47 oversight of Pittsburgh's finances among other issues. After being re-elected to City Council in 2009, Peduto decided that he would again challenge the incumbent mayor in the 2013 Democratic primary.[9]

Mayor of Pittsburgh

In December 2012, Peduto officially launched his third mayoral campaign, announcing that he would challenge Luke Ravenstahl in the 2013 mayoral primary, and was immediately endorsed by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. He simultaneously announced that he would not seek re-election to a fourth term on City Council.[17] Ravenstahl announced in March 2013 that he would not seek another term as Mayor.[18] Several other candidates launched campaigns but after Ravenstahl's exit, the race evolved into a two-way race between Peduto and former Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner. In the May 21 primary, Peduto defeated his opponents, receiving 52% of the vote. Wagner, his closest challenger, received 40%.[19][20]

In November 2013, Peduto defeated Republican candidate Joshua Wander, who was residing in Israel at the time of the election, and independent candidate Lester Ludwig to be elected as the city's 60th mayor, receiving 84% of the vote. He was inaugurated on January 6, 2014.[4][1]

Peduto is an advocate for ride-sharing in Pittsburgh. After the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission issued cease-and-desist orders in July 2014, Peduto called on the state legislature to allow ride-sharing operators to legally operate in Pittsburgh.[21] Subsequently, ride-sharing service Lyft acquired temporary approval for operation in August 2014 pending a hearing regarding a permanent license.[22]

In July 2014, Peduto and the City of Pittsburgh dropped a lawsuit that his predecessor, Luke Ravenstahl, had launched against UPMC, challenging its tax-exempt status. Peduto indicated his belief that the lawsuit impeded progress in ongoing negotiations between UPMC and the city regarding the payment of taxes.[23]

In early September 2014, Peduto announced the hiring of Cameron McLay as Pittsburgh Chief of Police, which resulted from an extended search following the resignation and subsequent conviction of Nate Harper on charges of tax evasion and slush fund conspiracy.[24]

Peduto appeared on the CBS television series Undercover Boss in December 2014 as "Ed Chadwick." Following the premise of the show, Peduto disguised himself as a municipal worker to observe rank-and-file Pittsburgh employees. As is customary in the show, Peduto rewarded those whose performance was judged to be exemplary with monetary donations. These donations came from anonymous sources, since ethics laws bar the use of tax revenue. Common Cause Pennsylvania, a government watchdog group, called on the Peduto administration to disclose the donors shortly after the episode aired.[25][26]

In a statement produced on Twitter in the run up to the 2018 Primary Elections, Mayor Peduto announced his support for the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes[27].

In 2019, Peduto introduced multiple proposals to city council to restrict firearms access that were met with heavy resistance. The bills were eventually passed by the city council after months of heated debate.[28] The bills were met with heavy resistance with lawsuits being threatened, until the city decided to not enforce the laws they passed.

2017 re-election campaign

Peduto announced on December 14, 2016, that he was running for a second term as Mayor of Pittsburgh in the 2017 election.[29] He faced two challengers in the May 2017 primary: John Welch, a progressive minister who challenged Peduto from the left, and city councilwoman Darlene Harris, a longtime foe, who had not filed an official campaign organization. He defeated both challengers in the primary to win the Democratic nomination, and did not face any Republican candidate in the general election, as none filed to run in the primary.[30] Peduto was re-elected with approximately 96% of the ballots cast on November 7, 2017.[31]

See also


  1. Laughlin, Nicholas (November 5, 2013). "Peduto Coalition Wins Big in Pittsburgh". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  2. Togneri, Chris (2 January 2015). "First Draft: Pittsburghers can relax: The mayor is fixed". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  3. Smydo, Joe (May 5, 2013). "Peduto, in third Pittsburgh mayoral race, says city at crossroads". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  4. "Code of Ordinances of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania". City of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  5. 2017 Pittsburgh mayoral election
  6. Bauder, Bob. "Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Peduto proud of being 'anti-business-as-usual'". Trib Live. Trib Live. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  7. Hentges, Rochelle (March 19, 2007). "Degree of separation". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  8. Togneri, Chris (October 21, 2013). "Family inspired Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Peduto's passion for politics". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  9. O'Toole, Christine (Fall 2013). "Who is Bill Peduto?". Pittsburgh Quarterly. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  10. "July 2013 DMO of the Month: Bill Peduto". National Democratic Municipal Officials. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  11. Potter, Chris (July 10, 2002). "I'm Just a Bill: The political education of Bill Peduto". Pittsburgh City Paper. Archived from the original on March 7, 2006.
  12. Patterson, Maggie; Anitra Budd; Kristin L. Veatch (July 1997). "Campaign Up in Flames: Negative Advertising Backfires and Damages a Young Democrat". Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (80th, Chicago, Illinois, July 30-August 2, 1997). U.S. Department of Education. Education Resources Information Center (ERIC). pp. 85–109, 309.
  13. Togneri, Chris (4 January 2014). "100 years since another critical juncture, progressive Peduto takes helm". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  14. "Bill's Honors". Peduto for Mayor. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  15. "Peduto wins Democratic nod for Pittsburgh mayoral race". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  16. "Peduto's exit ... Pittsburgh loses in a case of no guts, no glory". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 22 March 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  17. "Bill Peduto To Run For Mayor In Pittsburgh". CBS Pittsburgh. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  18. Sheehan, Andy (1 March 2013). "Mayor Not Seeking Re-Election". CBS Pittsburgh. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  19. "2013 Democratic Municipal Primary". Allegheny County Division of Elections. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  20. Magee, Bryan (22 May 2013). "Peduto Wins Pittsburgh Mayor Primary". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  21. Lyons, Kim (3 July 2014). "Lyft, Uber determined to continue in high gear". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  22. "Lyft ride-sharing service gets the OK to operate in Pittsburgh". The Patriot-News. Associated Press. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  23. Zullo, Robert (29 July 2014). "UPMC, city drop legal fight over taxes". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  24. "Mayor Peduto announces hiring of new Pittsburgh Police Chief". WPXI. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  25. Owen, Rob (4 December 2014). "Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto stars on CBS reality show 'Undercover Boss'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  26. Potter, Chris (23 December 2014). "Peduto's appearance on 'Undercover Boss' raises questions about cash gifts". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  27. "bill peduto on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  29. Field, Nick (14 December 2016). "Peduto to Begin Re-Election Campaign Today". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  30. Potter, Chris (16 May 2017). "Peduto easily defeats two primary election rivals". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  31. "Allegheny County Unofficial Election Returns". Allegheny County Division of Elections. Archived from the original on 2017-11-08. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Cohen
Member of the Pittsburgh City Council
from the 8th district

Succeeded by
Dan Gilman
Preceded by
Luke Ravenstahl
Mayor of Pittsburgh
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