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Special election date set for vacant Pittsburgh City Council District 8 seat |

Special election date set for vacant Pittsburgh City Council District 8 seat

Erika Strassburger, 35, of Squirrel Hill, Councilman Dan Gilman’s former chief of staff; Sonja Finn, 38, of Point Breeze, a chef and restaurant owner; and Marty Healey, 54, of Shadyside, chief financial officer for South-Side based Healey Co., have said they intend to run for Gilman's former seat on Pittsburgh City Council. Gilman stepped down to become Mayor Bill Peduto's chief of staff.

Voters in Pittsburgh’s City Council District 8 will choose a candidate to fill Dan Gilman’s former seat during a special election on March 6, according to the Allegheny County Elections Division, which selected the date on Friday.

Three Democrats have so far announced plans to run for the office. Gilman resigned Wednesday and started work as Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff. No Republican candidates have announced campaign plans.

Major political parties can nominate candidates to run for the seat. Independents must file nomination papers.

Nancy Mills, who chairs the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, said party officials are seeking a venue in the district to hold a nominating election. She said she would likely schedule the election by Democratic committee members from the district for early February.

“I want to give everybody a chance to campaign,” Mills said Friday, adding that she hopes to announce a date and place by Monday.

District 8 includes Point Breeze, Shadyside and parts of Oakland and Squirrel Hill.

The Democratic candidates are: Sonja Finn, 38, of Point Breeze, a chef and restaurant owner; Marty Healey, 54, of Shadyside, chief financial officer for South Side-based Healey Co., a residential renovation and construction firm; and Erika Strassburger, 35, of Squirrel Hill, Gilman’s former chief of staff.

Independent candidates were permitted to begin circulating nomination papers on Wednesday. They must file them by Jan. 18, according to the elections division.

All candidates are required to file campaign expense reports with the county and Pittsburgh.

Gilman, 35, was re-elected in 2017. The special election winner will serve a four-year term. City Council members are paid $66,371 a year.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, or via Twitter @bobbauder.

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