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Mayoral candidates’ debate is decidedly one-sided |

Mayoral candidates’ debate is decidedly one-sided

| Monday, October 14, 2013 5:27 p.m
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Bill Peduto introduces himself to Mary Marflak, 72 of Lincoln Place as he makes his way around the basement to shake hands with the seniors who participated in a forum at the Lincoln Place Presbyterian church Monday, October 14, 2013.

Pittsburgh mayoral hopeful Bill Peduto had a room full of voters to himself on Monday morning when his two opponents opted out of what was supposed to be a candidates’ debate.

“I first believed this to be a debate,” Peduto said. “Unfortunately, I also believe my opponent has moved out of the country. I don’t think we’re going to be having any debates, but that’s OK.”

Peduto, 48, of Point Breeze, the Democratic nominee, faces Republican Josh Wander, 43, and independent candidate Lester Ludwig, 80, in the Nov. 5 election. Wander and Ludwig live in Squirrel Hill.

Wander is running his campaign from Israel, where he is working as a security consultant. He says he’ll probably be back for the election and will definitely return if he wins. It was unclear why Ludwig was a no-show.

About 22 people attended the event at the Lincoln Place Presbyterian Church, which is a neighborhood senior center. They peppered Peduto with questions about his plans for neighborhood improvement.

Peduto promised an administration that would be transparent, accountable and open to input on neighborhood development from residents. The first step to rebuild neighborhoods, he said, is to find out what residents want.

“We will work with our council members and create the priorities for each district. We’ll work with you on that,” he said. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you we’ll be able to do it all, but we’re willing to listen.”

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or

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