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Mayor Ravenstahl's Political Future Remains Uncertain

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's political future remains uncertain tonight.

He has been missing from recent public appearances, and that is raising even more concern. There has been speculation throughout the day about Ravenstahl's re-election bid.

So far though, the Mayor's Office is staying silent.

Sources have told KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan that the mayor has told close confidants that he concerned and saddened about the health of his mother, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

On top of that, he's feeling the strain of constant questioning about a federal grand jury investigation into the Pittsburgh Police Bureau.

The Mayor's Office is not returning phone calls.

But State Democratic Chairman Jim Burn has been trading phone calls with the mayor.

"I am 95 percent that the mayor is probably not going to run. That is my current analysis of what I see, what I hear and what I've been told," said Burn.

Burn spoke with KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano during a day swirled in speculation and rumor brought on by the mayor's canceling of several public appearances in recent days.

Those same sources said that as of last night the mayor was still considering certain options.

They say that as of last night, the mayor was strongly leaning towards calling a halt to his re-election campaign.

Ravenstahl is currently in a primary battle with rivals Controller Michael Lamb and Councilman Bill Peduto, but sources indicate as of late last night he was strongly considering dropping out of the race.

The same sources said had not yet decided whether he would resign as mayor or finish out his term. But, he has told close confidants of his desire to leave politics all together and seek a future in the private sector.

Just last week, the mayor was called in for questioning by the FBI and reporters have drilled the mayor about the investigation including the fact that his security officers had debit cards to a police slush fund.

The mayor has maintained he has done nothing wrong, but sources indicate that he is angry with members of the media, whom he says are now questioning his friends and family members.

Burn believes he will finish his term.

"I think it's more likely that he's going to make an announcement not to seek re-election," said Burn. "But again, he's with his family, he's with his advisers, he's with his friends, and please let me underline that things could change."

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