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Channel 11 sits down with Ed Gainey, poised to become first Black Mayor of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — It has been a whirlwind few months for state Rep. Ed Gainey.

The winner of Pittsburgh’s mayoral primary announced his campaign in January. He then took part in a series of debates, including one here at Channel 11. From there, he went on to beat incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto.

“I think I was in a ‘wow’ moment. When you are in a ‘wow’ moment, it’s like it’s stunning,” Gainey said.

He said he’s still shocked by the outcome of the primary election and attributed his success to hard work, the support of progressive organizations and the SEUI Health Care Union.

Gainey’s platform includes racial equity, affordable housing and police reform.

“Do you want to defund the police?” asked Target 11′s Rick Earle.

“No, but I want to look at line items,” Gainey said.

He said he will demilitarize the police department, involve more social workers on calls, stop overpolicing African American neighborhoods and require officers to walk the beat again.

“When I was a kid, they knew who Miss Gainey was. They knew Miss Earle. You know, lately, we’ve gotten away from that. And when we got away from that there was a distrust formed. I believe in order to stop the eroding of the trust we have to build it with communication and relationships,” Gainey said.

Gainey said he’s going to need the support of city council to accomplish his goals, but only one member backed his campaign.