Second Democrat to run as independent for open Pittsburgh City Council seat |
Politics Election

Second Democrat to run as independent for open Pittsburgh City Council seat

Wesley Venteicher
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.

Marty Healey, a candidate who failed to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination to fill the Pittsburgh City Council District 8 seat left open by Dan Gilman’s departure, will campaign as an independent, Healey’s campaign spokesman said Monday.

On Sunday, Democratic Party committee members in the district nominated Sonja Finn, 38, of Point Breeze, a chef and restaurant owner, to fill the seat left by Gilman, who left for a job as Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff.

Forty-seven committee members voted, choosing Finn over Healey and Erika Strassburger, 35, of Squirrel Hill, Gilman’s former chief of staff. Strassburger, who said Sunday she would campaign as an independent, received 20 votes.

Healey, 54, of Shadyside, the chief financial officer for a South Side-based construction firm, received no votes. Seventy-three committee members from District 8 were eligible to vote.

Healey doesn’t think picking a nominee by committee-member vote is fair to voters, said campaign spokesman Marty Marks.

“He believes that, as many others do, that the process for selecting a nominee was a very undemocratic and not transparent,” Marks said.

Independent candidates have to collect 113 signatures from registered voters to get on the ballot for the special election, Marks said. The election is scheduled for March 6.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, [email protected] or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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