PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The last Republican mayor of Pittsburgh was 88 years ago. But it looks like Tony Moreno, a Democrat, will win the write-in vote for the Republican nomination for mayor this November.
Moreno, a retired police officer, came in third for the Democratic nomination but he may get another crack at the mayor's office.
KDKA political editor Jon Delano reached Moreno while he was on vacation after the election and asked him if he would accept the Republican nomination.
"I have to go over it with my family and with my team and some of my consultants. We've got to crunch numbers," says Moreno. "We just have to make sure that there's a legitimate path to victory."
Democrats outnumber Republicans 5-to-1 in the city, but Moreno says if he runs, he runs as a Democrat, just a more moderate one than Ed Gainey who, he says, is even more liberal than Bill Peduto.
"When he [Gainey] came out to run, that's how he announced: "I'm to the left of Bill Peduto, but I'm not a socialist." But he put the Democratic Socialist groups in charge of his campaign committee, and he has the group from Philadelphia running his message," says Moreno.
"I think this represents an opportunity for Pittsburghers to have a choice in November elections," says Sam DeMarco, the chair of the Allegheny County Republican Party.
DeMarco does not expect Moreno to change parties, but says the primary was basically a vote against Peduto, not for Gainey.
He says now both Moreno and Gainey can be scrutinized on their own.
"Representative Gainey would definitely take the city in a further leftward direction," says DeMarco.
Moreno says if he decides to run, his message will not change, like this pledge he made just before the primary.
"Bring those neighborhood leaders together and ask them what they need. We're going to put police officers back on the street. We're going to bring the rules back into order. We're going to have them interact with our neighborhoods, and we're going to get downtown running and clean and safe again," Moreno pledged.
KDKA reached out to the Gainey campaign for any comment, but none so far.
Moreno says he will decide next week. If he runs, he knows the last Republican nominee to win the mayor's office was back in 1929.
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