Josh Wander is a perennial candidate who was the Republican nominee for Mayor of Pittsburgh in the 2013 general election. He was also featured in a segment on the reality television Doomsday Preppers. He is a self-described security consultant who holds dual citizenship in the United States and Israel.
Early life, education and career
A native of Pennsylvania, Wander graduated from a rabbinical college in Israel with a Bachelor of Talmudic Law and subsequently earned a Masters in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Wander's first attempt at public office was his election as constable of White Oak, Pennsylvania. Since then, he has unsuccessfully sought local offices four more times: twice for Mayor of Pittsburgh, again for Pittsburgh City Council, and yet again for Allegheny County Council.
In the 2013 election for Mayor of Pittsburgh, Wander stated his "only chance of actually winning in the race is if the Democratic nominee drops dead." Less than two months before that election it was reported Wander, while still the Republican candidate for mayor, had left Pittsburgh entirely. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Wander sold his home in Pittsburgh and moved with his family to Israel. Republican officials expressed surprise and confusion on being informed of Wander's departure. Wander insisted he would continue his campaign for mayor of Pittsburgh from Israel, though some experts questioned the legality of such an arrangement.
In an episode of the National Geographic Channel program Doomsday Preppers, Wander was quoted as saying that he was concerned "about a series of catastrophic terrorist attacks which will fundamentally change our lives as we know them."
In 2003 Wander started a website to mobilize support for shipping the Statue of Liberty back to France. In a National Public Radio interview he discussed the alternate possibility of decapitating the statue and sending back "just her head" because "then they'll [France] really know we're serious."
In 2015 Wander posted in a blog that we need to find viable alternatives to the two state solution for the Israeli conflict.
Wander is married with six children. In a 2012 interview with the Times of Israel, he reported he is considering moving back to Israel because he feels safer there, as a Jew, than in the United States. As of 2015, Wander is living in East Jerusalem and is volunteering as a paramedic.
- O'Toole, James (18 August 2013). "Pittsburgh's Republican mayoral candidate Josh Wander pushes message of 'choice'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Bauder, Bob (15 September 2013). "Mayoral candidate Wander sold Pittsburgh home, currently in Israel". Pittsburgh Tribune. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
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