School Reform Commissioner Bill Green and three-time mayoral candidate Sam Katz have decided against running as a two-man slate for City Council at-large in November’s election.
This wasn’t an idle flirtation. They were seriously considering the possibility as recently as Wednesday morning.
Katz wrote in an email that “politics is critical but there are other ways I hope to continue to move the city forward.” He said he was “gratified” that “so many Philadelphians” encouraged him and Green — who he praised as a “dedicated and talented leader” — to “create an independent party.”
“There is a lot of fuel left in my gas tank. I won’t be a candidate but I have no plans to disappear,” Katz wrote.
Green wrote that he’s “always believed” that “providing educational opportunities to Philadelphia’s children would make a bigger impact in Philadelphia than anything else.” Then there are the pragmatic considerations. “Without multiple voices like mine on Council I would be spitting into the wind, sometimes, but rarely, effectively,” Green wrote. “My highest and best use is on the SRC at this point.” Read more »
Clockwise from the top: Mayor Michael Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, state Sen. Vincent Hughes and District Attorney Seth Williams.
It finally happened: Philadelphia Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was indicted on corruption charges Wednesday.
Already, political insiders are wondering if the congressman will resign in the coming months or simply choose not to run for reelection in 2016. If either scenario unfolds, who would replace him? And how would that work?
The question has been bubbling up ever since two members of Fattah’s inner circle pleaded guilty last year. You can expect more names than ever to be bandied about now.
Some of the bigger ones include Mayor Michael Nutter, City Council President Darrell Clarke, District Attorney Seth Williams, Councilman Curtis Jones, Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, state Sen. Vincent Hughes, state Sen. Anthony Williams, state Sen. Daylin Leach, state Rep. Brian Sims, School Reform Commission member Bill Green, former mayoral candidate Doug Oliver, ward leader Daniel Muroff and real estate analyst Dan Kessler. That’s not even a full list. Check out some other possibilities here.
Watching some of these candidates confront each other in an open election would be a sight to see, but there’s no guarantee that’s what would happen. Indeed, there are five distinct scenarios that could unfold here. Let’s run them down.
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Bill Green and Sam Katz.
Bill Green and Sam Katz — two of the city’s most capable and pugnacious political pot-stirrers — are considering running for City Council at-large as a two-man slate in this November’s election, Citified has learned.
If they were to run and win, they could upend a political system that, by design, traditionally awards Philadelphia’s under-powered Republican party two at-large City Council seats. It would be an enormous blow for the city’s GOP.
A Katz-Green victory could also change the balance of power in City Council, and present likely next mayor Jim Kenney with a pair of well-informed and high-profile potential critics. Read more »
Photo by Matt Rourke/AP
1. Voter turnout in Philadelphia wasn’t always so pitiful.
The gist: Only 27 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in Philadelphia’s mayoral primary last week. It wasn’t always like this. In 1991, 49 percent of Philly voters came to the polls. In 1987, 67 percent did; in 1971, a stunning 77 percent did. Other big cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York have also seen voter turnout plummet in municipal elections over the past few decades. CityLab’s Daniel Denvir has a theory about why that may be: Read more »
Much has been written about Bill Green IV’s mayoral aspirations. And Tuesday’s primary didn’t exactly lend a helping hand to the Councilman-at-Large turned ousted School Reform Commission chairman’s political future, what with two of his avowed enemies, Jim Kenney and Helen Gym, scoring big victories. But thanks to the Daily News, Green has finally been declared mayor. Read more »
Jim Kenney accepts the Democratic nomination for mayor. | Photo by Jeff Fusco.
Updated 5/20/2015 with nearly final election results.
Jim Kenney won the Democratic mayoral primary in dominating fashion Tuesday night, capturing neighborhoods across the city in a showing that proved his appeal to low- and high-income voters, to blacks and whites, to Philadelphians new and old.
Kenney defeated chief rival Anthony Williams by a staggering margin of 30 percentage points. Lynne Abraham collected less than 10 percent of the vote. Doug Oliver and Nelson Diaz were around four percent, and Milton Street stood at less than two percent.
This was a shellacking. Kenney’s percentage point margin of victory is the largest of any competitive Democratic mayoral primary since at least 1979.
“Our campaign was a broad and unprecedented coalition of diverse groups, many of whom came together for the first time to support me,” Kenney said in his brisk victory speech, with prominent labor and political supporters at his back. “We must work together with the understanding that every neighborhood matters.”
The victory comes with a significant asterisk: low voter turnout. Only 27 percent of all registered voters cast ballots. Democratic turnout was hardly any better, at just 29 percent.
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By the amazing @dhm
Sam Katz is not running for mayor in the general election, he announced Tuesday.
Why does that matter? It’s much less likely now that Philadelphia will have a competitive mayoral race this fall. That means the winner of the primary election next week — yes, it’s next week — will probably be our next mayor.
Katz, who would have run as an Independent, is a three-time mayoral candidate who came within an inch of beating John Street in the 1999 election.
The lone Republican candidate, on the other hand, is Melissa Murray Bailey, who was a registered Democrat until this January and raised a paltry $4,900 so far in 2015.
It is possible that Bill Green, a member of the School Reform Commission, could run for mayor in the general election. He switched his party registration in March from Democrat to “no affiliation” in order to “leave all the doors open to me for the fall.” But Green said it is ultimately “unlikely” that he will run for mayor (or City Council, for that matter).
Here’s Katz’s full statement on his decision: Read more »
Not friends. | Kenney photo, Matt Rourke AP
Bill Green has a story about Jim Kenney he thinks you should hear. Read more »
Let’s stipulate up front that whoever wins the Democratic nomination for mayor this May is the heavy favorite to be elected in November’s general election. That’s just the way it works in a city where 80 percent of registered voters are Democrats and a lot of the deep-pocketed donors are (excruciatingly) wary of bucking the likely winner.
Nonetheless, recent developments in the mayoral campaign are making it far more likely that Philadelphia will see a legitimate contest this Fall. The farce of 2007, when genial GOP mayoral nominee Al Taubenberger more or less spent his campaign talking about what a great guy Michael Nutter was, is not likely to be repeated. Read more »
Philadelphia City Council | Photo Credit: City Council’s Flickr page
A candidate has the opportunity to flex some muscle while collecting signatures for nominating petitions.
You only need to gather 1,000 legit signatures to get on the May 19th primary ballot for citywide office — but if a candidate amasses significantly more than that, they can theoretically inoculate themselves from a legal challenge and show the city that they’ve got a good ground operation. (Again, at least in theory. U.S. Rep. Bob Brady led the pack in signatures among mayoral candidates during the 2007 campaign, only to lose in the primary.)
March 17th is the deadline to file a legal challenge against a candidate over their nominating petitions. We told you how many signatures the mayoral hopefuls collected. What about the candidates in the second-most interesting race in town, the Democratic City Council At-Large tussle?
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