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Pittsburgh mayoral election, 2009

Pittsburgh held a mayoral election on November 3, 2009. Incumbent mayor Luke Ravenstahl, a Democrat, defeated his two independent challengers by a wide margin. The 2009 election was the first regular-cycle election in which Ravenstahl participated; he was originally appointed as an interim mayor to succeed Bob O'Connor and subsequently won a special election in 2007.


  • Primary 1
  • General 2
  • Election results 3
    • Democratic primary 3.1
    • General election 3.2
  • References 4


The primary election was held on May 19, 2009. In the Democratic primary, incumbent Mayor Ravenstahl defeated challengers Patrick Dowd, a Pittsburgh city councilman, and Carmen Robinson, an attorney and former police officer.[1]

The Republican primary had no names on the ballot for the office of mayor. Ravenstahl, a Democrat, won the Republican mayoral nomination with 607 write-in votes; no other candidate had the 250 write-in votes required to become the Republican nominee.[2]


Ravenstahl, having been nominated by both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, appeared on the general-election ballot with both affiliations.[2] He was joined by two other candidates: businessman Franco 'Dok' Harris (the son of Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris), who ran under the Franco Dok Harris Party, and attorney Kevin Acklin, who ran as an independent.[3] Ravenstahl's relationship with lobbyist John Verbanac became a campaign issue.[4]

Ravenstahl defeated both Harris and Acklin by a wide margin, winning over 55 percent of the vote.[5]

Election results

Democratic primary

2009 Pittsburgh mayoral election, Democratic primary[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Luke Ravenstahl 26,880 59.19%
Democratic Patrick Dowd 12,610 27.76%
Democratic Carmen Robinson 5,926 13.04%
Totals 45,416 100%

General election

2009 Pittsburgh general mayoral election[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic/Republican Luke Ravenstahl 28,528 55.22%
Franco Dok Harris Franco Dok Harris 13,060 25.28%
Independent Kevin Acklin 9,903 19.17%
Write-in candidates 168 0.33%
Totals 51,659 100%


  1. ^ Lord, Rich; Roddy, Dennis B.; McNulty, Timothy (May 20, 2009). "Ravenstahl cruises past two rivals for Democratic nomination".  
  2. ^ a b Boren, Jeremy (June 8, 2009). "Pittsburgh's Democratic mayor earns Republican nomination".  
  3. ^ "City's three mayoral candidates agree to televised debate".  
  4. ^ Lord, Rich (October 23, 2009). "Orie praises Verbanac's pension help". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  5. ^ a b SUMMARY REPORT - Allegheny County - 2009 General Election. Allegheny County Board of Elections. 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  6. ^ SUMMARY REPORT - Allegheny County - 2009 Primary Election. Allegheny County Board of Elections. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
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Pittsburgh mayoral election
Succeeded by
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