ShareThis Page
Former U.S. Senator staffer Chris Rosselot to challenge Darlene Harris for council seat |

Former U.S. Senator staffer Chris Rosselot to challenge Darlene Harris for council seat

Bob Bauder
Chris Rosselot.

A former staffer for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey announced plans Thursday to challenge Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Darlene Harris in the 2019 Democratic primary election for her North Side council seat.

Chris Rosselot, 38, of Spring Garden said council District 1 under Harris’ reign has lacked leadership and collaboration with other city offices and government agencies.

“It’s time for a change, I think, for the district,” Rosselot said. “I feel with my background and experience, I’m ready to take on that role.”

Harris, 65, of Spring Hill said she plans to seek a fourth term but declined comment on Rosselot’s assertions.

Rosselot said he worked as an aide to Casey, D-Scranton, from 2006 through 2013 and focused on regional issues, including economic and community development projects. He currently works from home as an independent economic development consultant. He’s married and has a son and daughter, ages 7 and 9.

He previously worked as a paralegal at a Downtown law firm.

He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Northern Iowa, which he attended on a baseball scholarship, and a masters in public policy from the University of Pittsburgh.

He’s never held elected office but serves on Pittsburgh’s 23rd Ward Democratic Committee. He’s also served as a volunteer with the Community Alliance of Spring Garden East Deutschtown.

If elected, he would work to promote better collaboration and harmony between the council office and other government and community agencies, Rosselot said. He said he is planning an election launch party on Jan. 10 at the Troy Hill VFW post and would stage community meetings dubbed “Coffee with Chris” at local coffee shops to meet constituents. He’s also created a campaign website .

“I have a campaign committee set up,” he said. “I’m just continuing to plug away and build my campaign.”

At least two other North Side residents have announced plans to run against Harris. One of them — Jeff Betten of Troy Hill — said he’s canceled his campaign. Quincy Kofi Swatson, 27, of East Allegheny is the other candidate. Swatson could not be reached for comment.

Harris has held the council seat since winning a special election in 2006. She’s won three consecutive four-year terms since then and was a candidate for city mayor in 2013 before dropping out of the race. She has clashed frequently with Mayor Bill Peduto over budgeting and political issues.

Five Pittsburgh council members representing odd-numbered districts are up for election in 2019. In addition to Harris, they include council President Bruce Kraus of South Side, Corey O’Connor of Swisshelm Park, Deb Gross of Highland Park and Ricky Burgess of North Point Breeze.

Council representatives serve four years and will be paid $68,066 in 2019.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.