Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wagner: No Regrets after Primary Loss

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wagner: No Regrets after Primary Loss

Article excerpt

Jack Wagner has time now for all those chores he ignored through a tumultuous spring -- around the house, the yard, the deck he's been meaning to refinish.

"I was cleaning out the gutters this weekend, all the debris that gets in there," he noted.

But the former auditor general says he doesn't have time for recriminations or regrets after the being rebuffed for the second time in two decades in a bid for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Pittsburgh.

"It's been two weeks, you gain a little bit of perspective with a little bit of time ... and you move on," he said. "You do your best to learn from it, which I have done, but I'm ready to move on."

In the four-person Democratic field, Mr. Wagner finished a distant second behind Councilman Bill Peduto, but he said that the loss wouldn't deter him from considering another run for public office. Before his decision to leap into a race transformed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's decision not to seek re-election, his name regularly appeared in the roster of speculation in the 2014 governor's race. His failed mayoral bid muted that speculation, but when asked last week about the possibility of another statewide bid, he said, "I've never ruled it out."

"Obviously, if I would have won the mayor's race, my focus would have been on being the best mayor I could be," he said. "In losing the mayor's race my options are still open. Obviously, I ran for governor three years ago, I learned a lot in that race. I'm passionate about Pennsylvania. I'm proud of my record as auditor general. I understand state government extremely well."

But he emphasized that he's not ready to make any decisions about his professional future in the private or public sectors.

"I'm still wide open," Mr. Wagner said. "I can assure you that I am not retiring, I'm very open to opportunities in the private sector, the nonprofit sector or the public sector. …

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