The Pittsburgh Mayor office is an important political office, but one thing we know for sure is that Pittsburgh is in for some flavor of Democratic policy agenda next year, because a Democrat is sure to win. That’s not to downplay the importance of the Democratic primary. There are very real live policy disagreements within the Democratic Party, and the outcome of the primary will have critical implications for Pittsburgh’s policy direction in a number of key areas.
But of course the policy differences between Democrats and Republicans are much larger, and that’s really what we need to worry about if Jim Ferlo ditches his state Senate seat to get in the race. Republicans have a slim margin of votes in the state Senate, 27-23, so every vote counts. Senator Ferlo is one of the few real progressives we have in Harrisburg.
We cannot have this seat remain vacant for 4 months with so many huge state issues on the agenda.
Thankfully Lauren Daley is reporting Senator Ferlo has not actually made up his mind, so there’s still time to persuade him of this:
Ferlo says he filed nominating petitions to “safeguard the process by at least doing this as a transition to give some consideration to the issue.”
Ferlo says he wanted to see how the field fleshed out, while considering the two years he has left on his Senate seat. He’s “torn” about leaving Harrisburg, he says, where he’s been an outspoken critic of liquor store privatization, Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling and the “corporate administration of Medicaid expansion.”