Chris Potter

Government & Accountability Editor

Nearly three decades after leaving home for college, Chris Potter now lives four miles from the house he grew up in -- a testament either to the charm of the South Hills or to a simple lack of ambition. In the intervening years, Potter held a variety of jobs, including asbestos abatement engineer and ice-cream truck driver. He has also worked for a number of local media outlets, only some of which then went out of business. After serving as the editor of Pittsburgh City Paper for a decade, he covered politics and government at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has won some awards during the course of his quarter-century journalistic career, but then even a blind squirrel sometimes digs up an acorn.

And yes, that is his real hair.

He can be reached at 412-930-8006 or at cpotter@wesa.fm.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman visited US Steel’s coke works in Clairton Friday morning, and offered a ringing endorsement of its efforts to recover from a Christmas Eve fire that has renewed local environmental concerns.

Courtesy of Judith Ginyard, Kierran Young, and Cherylie Fuller

Three new candidates have entered an already-crowded race to replace Pittsburgh City Councilor Ricky Burgess. If the field holds, Burgess could face five challengers on the Democratic primary ballot in the 9th District this spring.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

More than 40 candidates for county and local office are seeking the endorsement of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee in advance of this year’s spring primary. And while the list contains few surprises, it does feature a handful of names of potential contenders who have not openly declared their candidacies.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A bitter cold snap in Erie last week didn’t keep away scores of people from visiting the city’s lakeside library last week, checking out the next generation in voting machines as county officials from across the state scramble with a new voting security mandate.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess made it official Thursday, announcing that he is running for a fourth term in office this year.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Local Democrats and Republicans and gathered a few hours, and a few miles, apart on Sunday to select champions to replace Guy Reschenthaler in the 37th state Senate District. 

Summer Lee for PA

State Rep. Summer Lee has barely begun her first term representing the 34th state House district.  But she’s already made a notable statement: She’s hired Twanda Carlisle, the former Pittsburgh city councilor who left office in 2007 and pleaded no-contest to charges involving the misuse of some $43,000 of taxpayer money.

Chris Potter / 90.5 WESA

Democratic state legislators hope to give the city of Pittsburgh a new tax-relief program for longtime residents in gentrifying neighborhoods, state Sen. Jay Costa and others announced today.

Allegheny County/Bethany Hallam campaign

Generally speaking, races for the 15-member Allegheny County Council don't come with a lot of built-in interest. But Democrats across the county are expected to have a choice between two candidates with notable backgrounds – and the choice to make a generational change. 

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner kicked off her re-election bid Wednesday evening, pledging to keep up scrutiny of items high on the agenda of County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A prosecutor is telling Pittsburgh's city council that it lacks the authority to pass proposed restrictions on some firearms and ammunition. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Surprising precisely no one, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced his bid for a third term in the South Side Monday night.

Alex Brandon / AP

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey appears likely to join other Democrats in voting to block a bill he supports later today – the latest move in a government shutdown triggered by President Donald Trump over border security.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says the city has never been closer to a sweeping 12-year, multi-million-dollar deal with large nonprofits to fund a social-benefits initiative. But having missed self-imposed deadlines repeatedly last year, he’s not circling any dates on the calendar for announcing it.  

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Valerie McDonald-Roberts was Pittsburgh’s first chief urban affairs officer, and when she steps down next month, she may be its last.

A week before the Nov. 6 midterm election, Friendship resident Eric Stoller got a text message he wasn’t expecting.

GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

Hate crimes have been a major part of the national conversation in recent years, including after the mass shooting at a Squirrel Hill synagogue in October. But judging from statistics reported by the Pittsburgh Police on Tuesday, there has been little change in the overall number of hate crimes committed within city limits over the last decade.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office didn’t have much to say when it released a scathing grand-jury report on how the city of Pittsburgh investigates police shootings last Friday.

Matt Rourke / AP

Lindsey Williams, who won a close election in Pennsylvania Senate District 38 last month, has offered up nearly 100 pages of material to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati to prove she is eligible to hold the seat.

Matt Rourke / AP

The 2018 elections brought historic wins for Democrats nationally, as they seized control of the House of Representatives. But in Pennsylvania, Democrats saw more modest gains at the state legislative level, where their challenge is a tale summed up by two Senate districts.

Lindsey Williams for PA

The top Republican in the Pennsylvania Senate is requesting Lindsey Williams provide records proving her eligibility to serve in Harrisburg next year.

David Zalubowski / AP

Pittsburgh Public Schools board representative Kevin Carter says he did not sign a letter of support for Amazon’s HQ2 that bears his signature. And the solicitor for the school district, whose office procured that letter, says an investigation will begin immediately. 

Guy Reschenthaler official Facebook page

Congressman-elect Guy Reschenthaler won't take office until January, and the date for replacing him in the state Senate has not been set. But Democrats and Republicans alike are already eyeing the 37th state Senate District, which sprawls from airport-area suburbs through prosperous South Hills communities and into Washington County's Peters Township.

Lindsay Lazarski / Keystone Crossroads

The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s absentee-ballot rules Tuesday, alleging that voters are being disenfranchised by the state’s tight deadlines for returning ballots.

Courtesy of Lindsey Williams for PA

After facing allegations of being a socialist, a slew of negative advertisements and a lawsuit challenging her eligibility to serve, Lindsey Williams won a narrow victory in the state Senate 38th District on Tuesday night.

With no rival on Tuesday’s ballot, Sara Innamorato may have expected a quiet finish to her campaign to represent State House District 21. Instead, she’s been targeted by a write-in campaign -- and a death threat.

Between the two of them, state Senate district 38 candidates Jeremy Shaffer and Lindsey Williams raised more than $1.5 million in campaign contributions between June and October. That is a huge sum for a western Pennsylvania state legislative race. 

Campaign, U.S. House websites

Ron DiNicola is running as a Democrat in a western Pennsylvania Congressional District that went for Donald Trump by roughly 20 points two years ago, which means if he’s going to win, he has to punch above his weight.

Courtesy of Lindsey Williams for PA

A Commonwealth Court judge has tossed out a bid to remove state Senate candidate Lindsey Williams from the Nov. 6 ballot.

Republicans, however, say that may not be the last word. 

Campaign websites

Incumbent state House member Hal English shocked many North Hills voters this summer by deciding not to run for re-election after winning the Republican primary. Among the District 30 constituents who were surprised by the decision, which English announced shortly before the Fourth of July, was aide Lori Mizgorski.

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