Democratic County Council Candidate Joanna Doven Has Anti-Trans, Pro-Republican History

The Democratic Allegheny County Council At-Large candidate and her anti-trans, racist, and pro-Republican tweets reveal who she really is

Joanna Doven's anti-trans and racist tweets
Joanna Doven and some of her anti-trans, racist, and pro-Republican tweets.

Updated January 8, 2023, at 6:20 AM.


Joanna Doven responded to her history of anti-trans, racist, and pro-Republican comments coming to light through her campaign Twitter account Saturday with a 25-tweet-long thread. Doven accused QBurgh and others of committing a coordinated attack on her and her campaign, justified her support of Republican Senator Marco Rubio, used the term “opioid babies”, and accused her opponent of being a “drunk”, of “selling drugs”, and of “sexually assaulting someone”.

14 tweets into the thread, Doven says her June 15, 2015 tweet “was wrong”. No apology was extended to the trans community, the greater LGBTQ Community of Pittsburgh, or the Pittsburgh POC community.

Original article

Joanna Doven (D – Ohio Township) announced her candidacy for Allegheny County Council’s Democratic At-Large seat on Wednesday setting up a challenge to progressive Democrat Bethany Hallam, who currently holds the position. Doven wrote in a statement announcing her candidacy that she hopes to “re-anchor” the Democratic Party locally, adding that “with the at-large seat – since you represent the entire region – what’s needed is collaboration and problem-solving and progress.” She is billing herself as a “pragmatic progressive” that “real progressives” are paying attention to.

QBurgh is paying attention too.

Joanna Doven’s social media from recent years is filled with anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ, and racist sentiments. Support for Republican candidates and pro-Republican rhetoric is also a common theme of Doven’s tweets. All the tweets in question were posted by Doven after she had already served as Press Secretary for Democratic Mayor of Pittsburgh Luke Ravenstahl and started her public relations and marketing agency, Premo Consultants.

Joanna Doven tweet from June 15, 2015.

On June 15, 2015, Joanna Doven tweeted “So if a man can feel like he is a woman and vice versa – why can’t a white person feel like they are black?” The tweet was in response to the Rachel Dolezal controversy at the time. Joanna Doven served as Press Secretary for the Mayor of Pittsburgh from 2007 to May 2013.

Joanna Doven tweet from October 25, 2015

On October 25, 2015, Doven tweeted that “it’s refreshing to hear Donald Trump interview.” The tweet appears to be a reaction from Doven about Jake Tapper’s interview with Donald Trump during CNN’s Sunday morning “State of the Union” programming. An interview in which Trump said that the world would be much better off if ruthless dictators like Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi were still in power.

Doven founded Premo Consultants, LLC, formerly Huss Communications, LLC, in January 2014 specializing in public relations and marketing, crisis communications, and governmental consulting. Premo Consultants counts among their clients Pittsburgh-based developer Walnut Capital, school districts, and other institutions.

While finding Donald Trump “refreshing”, a series of tweets throughout the fall of 2015 reveal that Doven was a supporter of Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s campaign for President and supported the Republican sentiment that “mainstream media” is the problem.

A review of Joanna Doven’s publicly available voting records reveals that she did not vote in the general or primary elections in 2017, 2018, 2019, the general election in 2015, or the primary election in 2021.

Since contacting Joanna Doven’s campaign about the tweets in question, her Twitter account appears to have been deleted.

Jim Sheppard is a resident of Downtown Pittsburgh. Jim served as a Commissioner on the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission which investigates instances of discrimination in the City of Pittsburgh and recommends necessary protections in our City Code to provide all people in Pittsburgh with equal opportunities. He has worked for Pittsburgh City Council, the Pittsburgh Mayor, and the Allegheny County Controller. For five years he was the President of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (He / Him / His)