No phony suspense here. Luke Ravenstahl will be re-elected. The City of Pittsburgh will continue to decline, amusing itself along the way with boastful delusions of adequacy.
Citizens should nonetheless vote. But for whom?
Kevin Acklin is a man without a party (at least, that's his story and he's sticking to it . . . so far). His campaign has been useful, if only for directing attention to the tip of the iceberg that is John Verbanac. He has no chance to win -- not because he carried several handicaps into a campaign relying on city voters (a strong education, professional accomplishments, correct pronunciation), but instead because he failed to avert a split-the-anti-incumbent-vote situation. Anyone who couldn't recognize and/or solve that problem is no choice for mayor of a decaying city.
Franco "Dok" Harris is a man without an adult resume. He seems altruistic, energetic and thoughtful, but his record is that of a strong candidate for class president. He, too, is to be faulted for failing to arrange a two-person race (even if that required a coin toss with Acklin). If Dok ever perceived a genuine prospect that he could win this race, the world is still one huge Dungeons & Dragons game to him. Dok's time may come . . . but not yet.
Luke Ravensthal is a boy who embodies another decade of avoidable decline (which makes him the "obvious" choice in the mind of Post-Gazette editorial writers). An apt fit for today's City of Pittsburgh, much as today's Iron City beer (brewed in Wisconsin for yinzers who failed geography) and today's Pirates (league-leading bobbleheads) are.
If these three were welded together, we'd still be short of one legitimate candidate to tackle the job of reviving the City of Pittsburgh. What is the rational voter to do? In this least-of-lesser-evils context, one candidate is plainly superior. That candidate: the Boy Mayor.
It would be disingenuous not to express some regret with respect to this endorsement. The Boy Mayor is not an ideal candidate; no one first elected in his 20s could be. It is difficult to identify strong points in his record as mayor. Plus, every reasonable person would agree he is brain-dead.
Which is not surprising, because he has been buried in Allegheny Cemetery for more than a century.
This Infindorsement belongs to Dr. Jonas R. McClintock, left, Pittsburgh's original "Boy Mayor." (Not to be confused with the city's Original Gangsta Boy Mayor, right). Elected at 28 after battling the cholera epidemic of the early 1830s, as a physician. Described as presiding over the first "cut" that turned Grant's Hill (a mound, at the east end of Pittsburgh's downtown, whose grade had prevented progress in developing the city) into Grant Street (a street whose current inhabitants prevent progress in developing the city).
Mayor McClintock's advantages over the incumbent seem obvious. Better education. Record of public service. No known relationship with John Verbanac, Yarone Zober, or Tiger Woods. Mayor McClintock's military record consisted of assembling a Civil War battalion rather than militarizing Oakland for an assault against hackey-sacking Pitt students. And Dr. McClintock seems incapable of hurting Pittsburgh in the next four years, being dead since 1879.
That final reason is enough to make a write-in vote for Dr. Jonas R. McClintock for mayor the most appropriate act by any City of Pittsburgh voter on Tuesday.
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