The Mayoral Election’s Other Big Winner? Doug Oliver.

Photos | Malcolm Burnley

Photos | Malcolm Burnley

In five or 10 years, we may look back at the past three months as the seminal moment in Doug Oliver’s political career. Or maybe not. It all depends on what his next move, or moves, will be. Will Oliver stay on the political track? Or choose the private sector, where he’s likely to have plenty of options?

Oliver’s run — whether it proves seminal or ephemeral — was fun while it lasted. He gave the campaign a badly need jolt of charisma and optimism. His campaign supplied more than a few inspired moments: releasing a fake poll to mess with the press; asking kids at a forum if they considered the police friends or foes; his out-of-the-box TV ad, to name a few examples.

True, he earned just 4.25 percent of the vote. But that was more than Nelson Diaz, and a lot more than Milton Street. It seems likely that Oliver was the #2 choice for a lot of Jim Kenney voters as well, including Jim Kenney himself. Tuesday’s big winner joked at his polling place “I was thinking about Doug Oliver but I voted for myself.”

So despite his fourth-place finish, Oliver is Ed Rendell’s darling and a rising star with a bright political future (if he wants it). Oh, and he did it with a war chest of just $43,000.

Citified sat down with the candidate at his modest post-election party in Germantown, about an hour after the primary was called for Kenney. Read more »

Former Ed Rendell Aide Joins Kathleen Kane’s Office

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane walks from the State Supreme Court room, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at City Hall in Philadelphia.

Kathleen Kane’s tenure the attorney general has become — let’s not kid ourselves — so disastrous that the arrival of Chuck Ardo as her new spokesman feels a bit like the appearance of Winston Wolf in Pulp Fiction: Hey! The grownups are in charge again!

But, you know, it might come back to bite her, too. Read more »

Ed Rendell Endorses Out Candidate for City Council

Steinke-Rendell

Paul Steinke and Ed Rendell at Iovine Brothers in Reading Terminal Market. | Photo courtesy of Paul Steinke Campaign

Yesterday, at a press conference at Reading Terminal Market, former Governor Ed Rendell announced his official endorsement for out City Council candidate Paul Steinke. His statement:

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The Brief: Ed Rendell Endorses Candidate for … Council?

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

1. Ed Rendell Throws His Weight Behind Council Contender Paul Steinke

The Gist: Former Gov. and Mayor Ed Rendell is backing Democrat Paul Steinke, a past general manager of the Reading Terminal Market, in his bid for City Council At-Large. Rendell said at a press conference, “I believe he has the courage, the integrity and the willingness to work with people to bring Center City and the neighborhoods together. … This is an uphill fight, but I think we need change. There’s some good people on City Council, but City Council’s performance on things like the PGW contract — it’s not good.” Read more »

Blingo at the Rittenhouse Hotel

blingo-magnatta-dress-ed-rendell-nicole-cashman-940x540

Saturday night the Rittenhouse Hotel was the scene of a lively bingo game — except that the guests were not the blue-haired ladies  I’m used to playing with. The night was called Blingo, as every winning card won a prize that was blinged-out, with proceeds from the evening going to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare, fatal disease which afflicts only boys, usually by the age of 5, most of whom die in their 20s.

Mistress of ceremonies for the evening was WMMR’s Marisa Magnatta who assisted in the Blingo games with local celebrities John Bolaris of WeatherSavior.com, comedian Joe Conklin, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback A.J. Feeley, CBS3’s Stephanie Stahl and former Gov. Ed Rendell,who called out the numbers for Blingo. Jesse and Beka Rendell, along with Sonal and Manu Gambhir, were co-hosts of the gala. During the program the Gambhir’s son, 13-year-old Yuva Gambhir, who has Duchenne and is in a wheelchair, spoke on how the disease affects his life.

His body may be weak, but his mind is sharp, he said, and he talked about the future cure which was just on the horizon. We were all smiling through our tears during his speech.

Photos from Blingo after the jump »

The Brief: Ed Rendell “Not Likely” to Endorse a Mayoral Candidate

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Former Gov. Ed Rendell said Tuesday he is “not likely” to endorse a mayoral candidate in the May 19th primary.

He also announced yesterday that the Rendell Center for Civics & Civic Engagement will hold a mayoral forum on May 4th, in which students in Philadelphia’s school system come up with the questions.

So if Rendell isn’t planning to give a mayoral wannabe his blessing, why is saying nice things about long-shot candidate Doug Oliver?

Read more »

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