Highland Park resident Deborah gross has narrowly edged Lawrenceville resident Tony Ceoffe for the Democratic Party endorsememt by a vote of 47-43. I will have more info as it becomes available.
One important point to keep in mind with the Gross' tight margin of victory are the five recent appointees made to the vacant committee posts in the past two weeks. Ceoffe has challenged the timing of the appointment claiming that they need to be made more than 30 days prior to a special election. He also challenged whether or not Gross had the right to vote in ward 8 now that she has moved to Highland Park. Those 6 votes surely could account for the ceoffe's narrow margin of defeat. Ceoffe Has also challenged the rapidity in which the party votehas been held. He said more time should have been given to candidatess to campaign.
Sources tell me, that only two of the newly appointed members of the committee actually voted today. So it would appear that even without those votes Gross Still would have defeated Ceoffe.
Update: Ceoffes says he will sit down in the next few days to decide whether he will run against Gross in the November special election. Ceoffe says he is pleased with his showing in the endorsement vote because it wasnt a typical situation. He said Gross' high-powered support democratic mayoral candidates Bill Peduto and Allegheny County chief executive Rich Fitzgerald made the vote a difficult proposition.
"I think a margin of 47-43 with the mayor elect and the county executive working against you is a pretty good showing, Ceoffe said. "47-43 against Fitz and Peduto is no to bad for a kid from Lawrenceville"
UPDATE: Gross has released a statement thanking the committee for its support writing:
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to receive this nomination and want to thank the Democratic Committee for their support. In the coming months, I will continue to share my vision of neighborhood-driven development with the people in our community. Our district needs continued leadership that will keep our neighborhoods as great places to live, work, and raise a family.”
Peduto, the Democratic mayoral nominee, also released a statement regarding Gross' victory calling it "a positive step toward building a new Pittsburgh."
Peduto writes: "Congratulations to Deb Gross for earning the Democratic nomination for Pittsburgh City Council District 7. I also would like to thank all the Democratic committee members for participating in today’s
nomination vote. I am confident that Deb will be a strong advocate for the neighborhoods in her district. Today’s victory is a positive step toward building a new Pittsburgh."