Thursday, May 28, 2009
The Republican Party’s efforts to mount a last minute write-in campaign for a mayoral candidate has fallen short. Republican Committee of Pittsburgh Chair Bob Hillen says they were not able to get enough votes to put Josh Wander on the November ballot. Not only did Wander apparently not reach the 250 votes required to be nominated as a write-in candidate, he also received fewer votes than life-long Democrat and sitting mayor Luke Ravenstahl. Wander launched his write-in effort the Friday before the May 19 primary. Ravenstahl had sent out a mailing to registered republicans weeks before. Hillen says if they had more time he thinks the party would have been successful. He points to the write-in effort that put Mark DeSantis on the ballot 2 years ago. Hillen says the party has very little money to support a candidate and that made it hard to recruit someone to run. He says, “When you run for office in this city you have to commit a year to a year and a half of your life.” He says if there is not enough money to support ads and mailings the campaign will have to include hours and hours of door knocking “and that means a lot of time away from your family.” Hillen says it is unclear if the party will support former Republican Kevin Acklin who is running as an independent. Hillen says Acklin has not asked for the endorsement but the committee would be happy to support him if the Allegheny County Republican Party approves.