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.


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
Total votes 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
Total votes 51,659 100


  1. Lord, Rich; Roddy, Dennis B.; McNulty, Timothy (May 20, 2009). "Ravenstahl cruises past two rivals for Democratic nomination". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  2. 1 2 Boren, Jeremy (June 8, 2009). "Pittsburgh's Democratic mayor earns Republican nomination". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  3. "City's three mayoral candidates agree to televised debate". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. October 6, 2009.
  4. Lord, Rich (October 23, 2009). "Orie praises Verbanac's pension help". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  5. 1 2 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.
Preceded by
Pittsburgh mayoral election
Succeeded by

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