Embattled Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that he will not seek re-election. (Raw video from WPXI-Pittsburgh NBC affiliate) Early considered a wunderkind of Pittsburgh politics, Ravenstahl had been the youngest mayor, and stepped in after the death of Bob O'Connor, on September 1, 2006 at the age of 26. In recent months, his administration has been marred by investigations into financial wrongdoing, that lead to the recent resignation of Police Chief Nate Harper. Additionally, the Ravenstahl campaign communications director, Robert Harringer, had legal difficulties of his own, involving warrants in the state of Florida.
Ravenstahl stated that his reasons for leaving primarily involved his concern for his family - the people that are closest to him, and have stood by him from the beginning. His parents were in attendance at the press conference, and the point was made that while his mother was having some medical problems, she was in generally good condition, with Ravenstahl making an off-hand comment that he hoped he would be in as good condition when he reached her age. He dispelled rumors that the choice to not run for re-election was based in any way on his expectations in the primary, stating that based on the widespread support he's been receiving recently, he had no fears of defeat.
During the period of press questions after the announcement, Ravenstahl stated that he would not attempt to find a permanent replacement for Harper, because it was unrealistic to expect to find anyone willing to take the job for just 10 months. It is assumed the incoming new mayor would want to make that appointment. Additionally, he stated that he made his decision not to run on Wednesday.