With primaries for the fall mayoral race scheduled for May, candidates have received their official nominations, and there are no major surprises.
Republican Sam Katz, currently the chief executive officer of Greater Philadelphia First, and Democrat Mayor John Street both filed nominating petitions to run in the spring primaries by 5 p.m. on March 11, the deadline for such an action.
Challenging Street in the battle for the Democratic nomination will be Queena Bass, a Philadelphia activist, and William Devlin, who currently serves as executive director of the Urban Family Council. Katz will run unopposed in the Republican primary race.
Both sides are gearing up for a tough fight in the election this fall, as Street beat Katz by less than 2 percent of the vote in the 1999 mayoral race.
Frank Keel, a campaign spokesman for Street, stressed that the mayor is serious about his competition in the Democratic primary, although he is expected to garner much more support than Devlin or Bass.
"He has two opponents in the primary, and he is not taking them or the process lightly," Keel said.
Still, Keel noted the mayor's confidence that end results would be in his favor.
"We expect to win the primary, and we expect to win the general election against Mr. Katz," he said.
"I can tell you without hesitation that the mayor looks forward to taking his record of accomplishment directly to the people of Philadelphia," Keel added.
Devlin agrees that Street should see him as a serious competitor.
"I think people of faith... are very excited for my campaign, and they'll be voting for me," Devlin explained.
He decided to run against the mayor because he believes that though Street calls himself a Christian, some of his platforms run against the grain of what Devlin sees as central Christian values. Most significantly, Devlin thinks Street's pro-gambling stance is a problem.
"It is actually a 'reverse Robin Hood' -- it robs from the poor and gives to the rich," Devlin said.
Additionally, Devlin is pro-life while Street is pro-choice. He also claims that he is what he terms "pro-family," in opposition to what he called Street's "pro-lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transexuals" attitude.
Yesterday, Street announced that his re-election campaign would be chaired by Pennsylvania Governor and Democrat Ed Rendell, who previously served as the city's mayor. His re-election committee sports a prestigious lineup, also including Philadelphia City Council President Anna Verna, former Democrat mayoral primary candidate Marty Weinberg, Street's 1999 campaign manager Lana Felton-Ghee, Philadelphia Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah, and Arthur Makadon, chairman of law firm Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP.
Sam Katz recently named Carl Singley, a former longtime friend and confidant of Street, to co-chair his campaign. Singley, who is still a Democrat, gave his endorsement to Katz last week, according to Katz's spokeswoman Maureen Garrity.
Although Katz will make an official announcement of his candidacy next month, he has been actively campaigning, Garrity said.
"Sam will work to build Philadelphia as a smart city, a regional city," Garrity said. "He doesn't just see it as Philadelphia itself, he sees it as the greater Philadelphia area.... He wants to make it an economically integrated city, a smarter city, a healthier city."
Bass could not be reached for comment yesterday.Comments powered by Disqus
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