Two candidates compete to replace longtime council member Kraus in District 3

click to enlarge Two candidates compete to replace longtime council member Kraus in District 3
William Reeves (l) and Bob Charland (r) are seeking to replace outgoing Councilmember Bruce Kraus in this year's municipal elections.
Voters in Pittsburgh's District 3 will choose between a protege of outgoing Councilmember Bruce Kraus and a community support worker for a Latino resource organization when they head to the polls later this year.

Kraus, first elected in 2008, announced in January he will not seek another term when his time winds down in December. A day later, his chief of staff, Bob Charland, tweeted plans to pick up the mantle.

"Our community needs someone ready to do this job on day one, and I have the experience needed to serve our neighbors and build a stronger future together," Charland wrote in a tweet announcing his bid.

Charland, 34 and a South Side resident, has worked on Kraus's staff for the last five years. His campaign website lists "clean neighborhoods," "safe streets," and "prosperous communities" as his three areas of focus.

To advance these goals, Charland pledges to "streamline enforcement of waste issues," "bring back the dedicated police unit for South Side," and invest in community resources in underserved Hilltop neighborhoods such as Beltzhoover.

Charland is now being challenged by 24-year-old William Reeves, a community policy organizer at Latino resource center, Casa San Jose.

In a press release announcing his bid, Reeves says he wants to focus on "housing, investing in our youth, infrastructure, public safety, community services and economic development."

Reeves is a first generation Cuban-American and Pacific Islander who grew up in New York and has lived in Pittsburgh since enrolling at Duquesne University, where he graduated in 2021.

Reeves identifies escalating rental costs as a major concern and pledges to  "introduce legislation that would give renters basic rights such as the right to live in a rental unit that is clean and sanitary."

Reeves also promises to support "de-escalation and mental health training programs for Pittsburgh Police so our officers feel prepared and equipped with the tools to de-escalate confrontations and avoid a tragedy while in the line of duty."

Kraus, 68, is among the longest-serving members on City Council, where he served as president from 2014 to 2020. In a statement announcing his plans to step down, he said he always intended to limit his time in public office to create room for new leadership to emerge.

District 3 encompasses Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Beltzhoover, Central Oakland, Knoxville, Mt. Oliver, Oakcliffe, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, South Oakland, and St. Clair.

Reeves and Charland are both running as Democrats. Reeves has not sought the party endorsement because, he tells Pittsburgh City Paper, he had not raised the needed $1000 by Jan. 31. No Republican candidates have so far entered. The primary election will be held May 16.

Correction: This story was updated at 9:20 a.m. on Feb. 6 to state Reeves had not sought the party endorsement. An earlier version incorrectly stated Charland had not sought the endorsement.