Apr 09,2008 00:00
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh's mayor could energize the campaign of Democratic presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton as it heads to Pennsylvania, observers say.
Luke Ravenstahl, 28, became Pittsburgh's city council president in 2003 and succeeded to the mayoral position at 26 when former Mayor Bob O'Connor died of brain cancer to become the city's youngest chief executive.
Appearing at campaign events with Ravenstahl, Clinton praised the mayor for helping "re-energize Pittsburgh" as it struggles to find a new employment base amid the declining steel industry.
Both candidates support boosting Pittsburgh's reputation as a manufacturing base in the Midwest by investing in clean energy technology and Clinton said she hopes Ravenstahl's age will discredit notions she lacks support from young Pennsylvania voters, The Washington Post said Wednesday.
Ravenstahl's role as a Clinton supporter could win or fail, the Post says, as he has both a bad boy reputation and, says his staff, a bit of a rock star status.
"The city loves him, because he's so fresh and so young," city Councilman Jim Motznik said. But his critics say he's "so young" he's made some mistakes, including using a city vehicle to take his friends to a Toby Keith concert.
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