The five victorious Pittsburgh City Council candidates opened significant early leads in their races and cruised to blowout wins in Tuesday’s primary election.

The results give Pittsburgh two new members of City Council, while two incumbents will remain seated and another council member will get to serve her own term in office.

Candidates who win the Democratic primary in Pittsburgh are almost guaranteed to serve in the position they’re running for as the city leans heavily blue.

Incumbent Bobby Wilson led challenger Steven Oberst by more than 2,500 votes with nearly 100% of precincts reporting in the race for City Council District 1, which includes parts of the North Side, Downtown and the Strip District.

Another incumbent, Deb Gross, fended off a challenge from Jordan Botta by securing nearly two-thirds of the over 7,500 votes in District 7 with more than 95% of precincts reporting. The District 7 councilor represents Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Polish Hill and into the East End.

Barb Warwick, who has served as councilwoman for District 5 since November after winning a special election to finish the term of former Councilman Corey O’Connor, led Laura Brillman by about 3,000 votes with 80% of precincts reporting. District 5 includes Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, Hazelwood and across the Monongahela River to Lincoln Place.

Khari Mosley continued to push ahead of Khadijah Harris in the District 9 race and was up by more than 2,500 votes with about 90% of precincts reporting. District 9 stretches from Highland Park over to East Hills.

And Bob Charland, chief of staff to Councilman Bruce Kraus, will fill his old boss’s seat in District 3, which includes the South Side, parts of the Hilltop neighborhoods and part of Oakland. Kraus did not run for reelection, and Charland was otherwise unopposed.

In the race for the open city controller seat, Rachel Heisler quickly pulled ahead of Mark V. DePasquale and Tracy Royston.

With more than 96% of precincts reporting, Heisler had nearly 50% of the votes cast among the three candidates. Heisler tallied more than 21,600 votes compared to DePasquale’s 11,900 and Royston’s 10,800.

In the one competitive city school board race, District 2 incumbent Devon Taliaferro maintained a lead throughout the evening over challenger Ron Sofo.

With about 97% of precincts reporting, she was up by 1,300 votes. The District 2 school board seat represents Troy Hill across the Allegheny River to Lawrenceville and into the East End.

Three other city school board candidates ran unopposed.
In school board District 4, Yael Silk will take the seat of Pam Harbin, who declined to run for a second term.

Similarly, Emma Yourd will fill the position of District 6 board member Bill Gallagher, who decided to step down after one term.

And Dwayne Barker will take over the District 8 seat from two-term school board member Kevin Carter.

Andrew writes about education and more for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Andrew Goldstein

Andrew writes about education and more for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at