Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has spent the last few years painting himself as a gun control champion. He even passed local gun control in defiance of the state’s preemption law. In a blue city like Pittsburgh, one would think that would go a long way toward solidifying support for him.
Well, clearly, it didn’t.
Peduto’s re-election bid went down in flames not in a general election, but in the primary.
Incumbent candidate Bill Peduto has unexpectedly conceded the Democratic primary election for Pittsburgh Mayor to State Rep. Ed Gainey late Tuesday night.
“I just called @gainey_ed and congratulated him on earning the Democratic endorsement for Mayor of the city of Pittsburgh. Wishing him well. Thank you Pittsburgh for the honor of being your Mayor these past 8 years. I will remain forever grateful,” Peduto wrote on Twitter.
This originally came as just over 50% of precincts in Allegheny County were reporting unofficial results. As of around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, over 90% of precincts are reporting.
While Peduto told supporters he wished had another four years, he said that he was leaving the city a better place.
“I want to congratulate Rep. Ed Gainey as the Democratic nominee for Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, and I pledge to do my work in order to help to elect the first Black Mayor of Pittsburgh,” Peduto said to his supporters. “And I am asking all of you to do the same, that we all work together as one.”
Now, my first thought was that maybe, just maybe, Peduto’s push for gun control cost him the election. However, Gainey is pretty anti-gun himself, having introduced legislation banning magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifles.
I mean, it’s possible that some of the voters were unaware Gainey was anti-gun, but doubtful.
It’s also possible that there were some voters who were less than thrilled at Peduto’s push for a local assault weapon ban knowing it would end up in a losing lawsuit. After all, while Pittsburgh is a blue city, it’s not difficult to imagine some people could think of a better use of taxpayer money.
Regardless of what his anti-gun leanings might have done, it’s clear as day that his anti-gun actions did absolutely nothing to save his job. That kind of goes along with something I’ve argued for quite some time. The reason gun control doesn’t really happen is that it’s a driving issue for the right, but it’s not for the left. Peduto’s anti-gun agenda did nothing to preserve his job because it’s not really something that will be a deciding factor for Democratic voters, even if they support gun control.
Peduto pursued his anti-gun agenda with a certain degree of reckless abandon. He didn’t care about state laws. Instead, he was going to push that agenda with everything he had.
And where did it get him? Nowhere.
Now, Ed Gainey will likely be the new mayor of Pittsburgh. Whether Gainey will push his own anti-gun agenda or not remains to be seen, but we do know that Peduto is out.
Frankly, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.