Ed Gainey Makes History


Ben Winslow, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The City of Pittsburgh made history and headlines last Tuesday when voters elected the first African-American mayor of the City. Ed Gainey, a former State representative, was elected with an overwhelming majority of approximately 70% of the vote. Gainey toppled his Republican challenger, Tony Moreno, and secured himself as Pittsburgh’s next mayor. 


Gainey initially made headlines when he defeated incumbent mayor Bill Peduto in the Democratic primary and became the Democratic nominee for mayor. Peduto, who was seeking a third term as mayor of Pittsburgh, struggled with criticism of his pandemic performance and his spotty record with enforcing fair policing practices. 


Moreno, Gainey’s Republican challenger, who finished third in the Democratic primary (he finished behind Gainey and Peduto) secured enough write-in ballots in the Republican primary to secure the Republican nomination. 


Gainey ran on a campaign that was largely inspired by making Pittsburgh a “City for All” once again. His election night speech echoed these themes; Gainey spoke of affordable housing, policing reform, and diversity. 


Gainey supporters were energetic throughout the night as they felt the win was imminent. When it did come, it was met with celebration and emotion. Gainey supporters felt it was time for Pittsburgh to have a black mayor and they were passionate in their effort to secure his election. 


During his victory speech to supporters on Friday night he told them that they had made him and the country proud because: “You proved that we can have a city for all.”


Mayor Peduto congratulated his former rival on Twitter saying: “Congratulations to Mayor-Elect Ed Gainey. I look forward to working with you and your team on a progressive transition for the betterment of all of Pittsburgh.” Despite some opposition during the Democratic primary, it seemed as though Gainey had the backing of local Democratic officials and voters on Tuesday night.