Mandel Bows Out

One fewer challenger for Mayor Nutter. Anyone else? Anyone?

Another day, another would-be challenger to Michael Nutter says “pass.” This time it’s tax-reform advocate Brett Mandel. A Democrat, Mandel was being recruited by the city’s GOP committee to run against Nutter this fall as a Republican. He thought hard about it. Nobody would like to see Nutter challenged this year more than Mandel. But like the others (see: Katz, Knox, Williams and Green), Mandel concluded he couldn’t win. “I’m happy to be the tip of the spear. But there has to be a spear. There has to be something behind me,” Mandel said.

Apart from the utterly ineffectual city Republican party, Mandel suspected few organizations or deep-pocketed individuals would be willing to publicly cross a sitting mayor, however much they might complain about him in private. “Unfortunately this city doesn’t have an opposition. And frankly anyone who is part of the status quo protection industrial complex bands together and tolerates no public discord,” Mandel said.

He hasn’t entirely ruled out a run in the fall as an independent, but Mandel has no interest in mounting a mere protest campaign, and right now he can’t see what would change between now and the fall that would lead Nutter’s quiet critics to change their minds and publicly oppose the mayor.