“Johnny Doc” Faces Political Challenge From Former Mayor Candidate

Karen Brown wants his job as Democratic ward leader.

Karen Brown, the Republican candidate for mayor in 2011, has rejoined the Democratic Party and is running for her old job as a committeewoman in South Philadelphia’s First Ward. If she wins, she’ll run for the job of ward leader now held by John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, the electricians union business manager widely perceived as one of Philadelphia’s most powerful political figures.

The Inquirer reports:

Dougherty, who replaced Joe Hoffman as ward leader in 2010, dismissed Brown’s threat as “a farce.”

“She’s not even allowed to run. Read the rules,” Dougherty said, apparently referring to Democratic Party rules that prohibit ward or committee positions for anyone who has supported a non-Democrat at any general election within the last two years.

“She’s looking for a job. That’s what it’s about,” said Dougherty, business manager of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “That’s illegal. I’m not doing anything like that.”

Brown said she hasn’t supported any non-Democratic candidate since her own run, three years ago.

Philly.com’s John Featherman (himself a former candidate for mayor) apparently broke the story Monday, and has additional information here.