Doug Oliver Is in – Almost

Nutter's former spokesman will quit his PGW job and launch his campaign. When? Soon.

Doug Oliver, Mayor's Press Secretary. Copyright City of Philadelphia. Photograph by Mitchell Leff.

Doug Oliver, Mayor’s Press Secretary. Copyright City of Philadelphia. Photograph by Mitchell Leff.

Like a lot of would-be mayoral candidates, Doug Oliver has spent much of the last two years wondering if the thrill of a campaign and the chance to be mayor was worth the risk of giving up a solid city job, as required by the city charter’s “resign to run” provision. Last fall, Oliver said he would explore a run. Now it looks like he’s in.

Oliver says he’ll quit PGW by the end of the month, and probably formally launch his campaign shortly after. “My decision was not made lightly,” Oliver wrote in an email. “But I know that the only way people will invest their time, energy, money – and ultimately their vote – is if I first demonstrate to them the extent to which I believe in what I’m asking them to believe. Stepping down from my job is intended to show how committed I am to moving Philadelphia forward.”

At his somewhat rocky exploratory announcement last fall, Oliver said he’d decide whether to get in the race based in part on the level social media interest he’d be able to generate before decision time. So far, that’s not been a lot. His DO2015 Facebook page has a little over 1,000 likes, as does his personal Twitter feed (not that the other candidates are faring any better in the social media campaign).

“My exploratory process has been an enlightening experience,” Oliver wrote in his email. “While it substantiated some assumptions, it challenged others and ultimately strengthened my resolve to run for Mayor in 2015.”

Oliver is pitching himself as the young, fresh-faced option in a field full of familiar names. He will face candidates with far more experience, far more institutional support and, almost certainly, far more cash.