Katz talked of the uphill battle he faced against Democrat John Street. A subdued Sam Katz stood before approximately 30 students in the Terrace Room in Logan Hall last night and talked of his disappointment in losing the close Philadelphia mayoral election last month. "Everybody said [my campaign] was uplifting, inspirational, high-road," the defeated Republican mayoral candidate said. Then he smiled and joked, "personally, I would trade all that to win." Katz stopped by campus yesterday to discuss the mayoral election and to thank his many Penn supporters. "It really was a spectacular effort made on this campus," Katz said, adding that he "always saw the Katz signs." The Penn for Katz club and the College Republicans co-sponsored the event. The recent mayoral election was one of the most competitive races in modern Philadelphia history. Katz posed a major challenge to Democrat John Street with a moderately conservative platform that stressed tax reform. He lost the election by a razor-thin margin of about 10,000 votes. Katz discussed the election and many of the factors that affected the race, ultimately edging Street to victory. Basically, Katz said, he was fighting against the powerful Democratic machine in Philadelphia. According to Katz, "every stop was pulled out" for Street by the local Democrats, after outgoing Mayor Ed Rendell was elected general chairperson of the Democratic National Committee. He noted that it would be "unacceptable" for the DNC chair to hail from a city where his party lost the mayorship. Katz also said that the labor unions in the city launched a big effort for Street with the help of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.). And Katz added that there was another unpredictable factor on Election Day -- rain -- which traditionally is supposed to help Republican candidates, he said. "Rain was supposed to be my friend," he joked. But Katz said he is genuinely proud of his campaign effort. "We had a 390-400 day campaign and only one day was really bad. But unfortunately, that day's the only day that matters," he said. Still, Katz noted that "people were truly excited and inspired about [the campaign]." After his brief speech, Katz answered questions on topics ranging from the future of Philadelphia's economy to his doubts about the future of the city under Street. "For a guy who said he was going to hit the ground running, all I think he's done is hit the ground," he quipped. But Katz added that maybe Street would surprise him. "As a Philadelphian, I hope he does well," he said. Katz said he had not decided what he will do next. He says he is looking at some business opportunities, but will not rush into anything. The students, many of whom volunteered for the Katz campaign, crowded around Katz after the event to shake his hand and applaud his campaign. And Katz walked out of the room clutching a Penn sweatshirt that the students gave him as a gift. College senior Patrick Ruffini, a former Katz volunteer who helped organize the event, said he enjoyed the discussion. "I was curious about how willing he would be to look back," Ruffini said, noting that Katz "was eager to admit what went wrong and right [in the campaign]."Comments powered by Disqus
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