PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Even though former Vice President Joe Biden has chosen Pittsburgh for his first public event following his expected Thursday announcement that he’s running for the White House, two top local Democratic leaders are staying neutral in the race.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says, “I have not endorsed any of the candidates. I would like to be able to get through this year without endorsing.” Peduto acknowledges he has been contacted by several campaigns asking for his support. “A little bit. I think that they realize that Pennsylvania is a battleground state.”
Peduto does speak highly of fellow mayor, South Bend’s Pete Buttigieg, whom he has gotten to know through the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “He is the smartest mayor in the United States. He is a genius and he’s a really nice guy,” says Peduto.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is also neutral in the Democratic race. And he agrees with Peduto that the region will be important in electing the next President. “They all need to come and try to win the votes and the hearts and minds of Western Pennsylvanians,” says Fitzgerald. “Western Pennsylvania is going to be key next year,” says Fitzgerald.