Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pittsburgh Primary election results

Yesterday was Pennsylvania secondary office primary day. I no longer live in the City of Pittsburgh, but since it is two hundred yards down the street from me, I have a vested interest in seeing good candidates elected there. It appears that is the case. The Post-Gazette was reporting that the early returns were looking really good for people I like:

Challenger Bruce Kraus has a lead over the incumbent Jeff Koch in City Council's District 3. In the city's District 7 race, school board member Patrick Dowd says he's eked out a win over Councilman Len Bodack. Mike Lamb looks to have defeated Tony Pokora, Doug Shields and others in the controller race. And city councilwoman Darlene Harris, on the job since January, has won by more than two-to-one over two challengers.

I know and worked with the folks who ran the Dowd campaign, and they are good people to work with and they have some pretty good progressive instincts. Right now the unofficial lead for Dowd is under 30 votes. Hopefully that holds up as the write-ins get counted and a second count is probably instituted.

Overall, for Pittsburgh it is a pretty good night for progressives and good-governance types. The council lost two incumbent machine hacks, and one alleged and indicted influence peddler. That is a pretty good night. It is also a warning across the bow to the Ravenstahl administration as he lost a couple of allies tonight and Bill Peduto most likely gained a pair of allies.

As for my borough, I actually voted for multiple candidates who won their primary, which is still an odd thing for me. I tend to vote and for people who get crushed. I did not do a whole lot of work on this campaign, that should change in the next couple of years as I complete my socio-political buy-in into my community.

The one big surprise to me was the massive defeat of the Act-1 proposal to raise income taxes to make a revenue neutral cut in property taxes. Evidently the bill was too complex and non-transparent for this tax shift to be understandable despite the fact that a shift from asset taxation to income taxation should usually positively impact seniors while harming younger working people. Interesting....

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