The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that author and activist Leon Ford is no longer running for Pittsburgh City Council District 9.
Ford, 25, announced his decision via his campaign Facebook page. “After several weeks of reflection, I have decided to resign from the ballot. I will no longer be running for city council. My other commitments have become too great for me to be able to fulfill the requirements of this position. I feel it is best for me to make room for someone who has the true ability to devote to this honor,” Ford’s letter read.
“It was a pleasure experiencing this opportunity,” Ford continued. “I am so proud of everything we have accomplished over the past few months, and I have no doubt that we can continue these successes. I am still committed to using my platform to help ensure positive changes in the City of Pittsburgh, District 9. Lastly, I am confident that the residents of District 9 will elect the best candidate.”
In early 2018, Ford was awarded a $5.5 million settlement from the City of Pittsburgh, after he had been shot five times by a Pittsburgh police officer during a traffic stop in Highland Park in 2012.
In an exclusive interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier in November 2018 when he announced his candidacy for City Council, Ford said being a councilman would be the perfect place “to effect change—it’s important for my journey.”
“Here in District 9, I’ve been receiving so much love, so much support all my life,” Ford told the Courier. “When I got shot, they loved me and supported me, and now that I’ve decided to run for office, they love me and support me still.”
Ford said in November he was excited to “represent people who look like me and walk like me and talk like me. I’m excited to really lead with love and represent people who are not strangers to adversity.”
District 9 encompasses Garfield, Larimer, Homewood, Point Breeze North, Lincoln-Lemington, East Hills and parts of East Liberty. It is currently represented by three-term Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess.
Ford’s inclusion into the District 9 conversation hinted that a younger voting bloc would vote for Ford over Rev. Burgess, the incumbent. But that didn’t necessarily make Ford the favorite for the May 21 primary election. With Ford now dropping from the race, Rev. Burgess is again the clear favorite.
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