Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fourth Time the Charm for Council Candidate Coghill Ties to Firefighters, Police Unions Play Big Role in Victory

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fourth Time the Charm for Council Candidate Coghill Ties to Firefighters, Police Unions Play Big Role in Victory

Article excerpt

Lifelong Beechview resident Anthony Coghill easily won the Democratic nomination Tuesday for a Pittsburgh City Council seat, defeating rival Ashleigh Deemer.

Mr. Coghill, 50, a roofing contractor, lost three previous races for the District 4 slot. In a brief statement Tuesday night, he commended Ms. Deemer and said he was "elated and humbled."

"My team and I knocked on thousands of doors during this campaign, talking to many community members along the way. I am proud to call these citizens my friends, and I am proud to call this district my home," said Mr. Coghill, who campaigned on a "Back to Basics" theme that targeted litter, infrastructure and city services such as paving. "I look forward to representing all of our neighbors in City Council District 4."

The Nov. 7 general election is likely to pit him against Cletus Cibrone-Abate, who ran unopposed in the GOP primary for the heavily Democratic district in the South Hills. It includes Brookline, Overbrook and Carrick and some adjoining neighborhoods.

Coghill supporters touted his business background, long-standing community ties and emphasis on core city functions. Chris Spang, 41, of Overbrook said he trusts Mr. Coghill's instincts on neighborhood revitalization.

"A lot of it lies with business. He's a businessman," Mr. Spang said.

City Councilman Corey O'Connor said he expects to see "a neighborhood quality" from Mr. Coghill.

"We tend to look at the bigger picture on council when we also need to be looking at neighborhood [concerns]," Mr. O'Connor said. "I think he'll help bring us back to more of that focus."

Mr. Coghill's victory capped a hard-fought race with Ms. Deemer, 34, of Beechview, who is chief of staff for sitting District 4 Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak. Ms. Rudiak declined to seek a third term.

"I think that we're going to have to take some time to digest what happened today and why. …

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