Peduto names Gilman chief of staff, triggering District 8 special election


City Councilman Dan Gilman, pictured speaking at a Hillary Clinton rally last year, will be Mayor Bill Peduto’s new chief of staff. (Photo by John Hamilton / Managing Editor)

By John Hamilton / Managing Editor

Mayor Bill Peduto named City Councilman Dan Gilman his new chief of staff, vacating a seat in Pittsburgh’s eighth district, which includes part of Oakland.

Gilman, who has served on city council since 2013, will begin working at his new position on Jan. 3, the first day of Peduto’s second term, according to a press release. City council President Bruce Kraus will schedule a special election for the open seat to represent District 8, which includes Oakland, Point Breeze, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.

“This wasn’t an easy decision, especially given the confidence District 8 residents have given me the last two elections,” Gilman said. “I pledge to take all the lessons they have taught me over the years and apply that experience to making the entire city a better place for all.”

Kevin Acklin announced his resignation as chief of staff Dec. 7, saying he wanted to return to the private sector for financial reasons.

“Dan is the perfect person to continue my and Kevin’s work the last four years to make Pittsburgh a city for all,” Peduto said. “In fact, he’s been integral to that work all along.”

Sonja Finn, the owner of Dinette, a restaurant in Shadyside, announced on Twitter that she will run for the vacant seat.

Just after Finn’s announcement, Erika Strassburger, Gilman’s current chief of staff, also announced her intent to run.

[We talked to Gilman in August to discuss District 8 and student issues. Click here to read.]

Gilman attended Carnegie Mellon for undergrad, graduating in 2004. He worked as an aid then councilman-Peduto. When Peduto was elected mayor in 2013, Gilman won his boss’ old seat on council.

“[Peduto] is personally one of my closest personal friends,” Gilman told The Pitt News in August. “Politically, I think most of the council would call themselves his ally. Eight out of nine members endorsed his re-election campaign.”

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