Sam Katz Will Not Challenge Nutter In Primary

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Three-time Philadelphia mayoral candidate Sam Katz says he has decided against challenging Mayor Michael Nutter in next year’s Democratic primary. But Katz is still leveling some strong words against the incumbent.

Katz (in file photo above) makes crystal clear that he is dissatisfied with the work and style of mayor Michael Nutter:

“The mayor’s not a monarch. The mayor needs to be a partner with community groups, especially in these incredibly difficult times.”

But Katz says that after giving months of serious consideration to running as a Democrat and taking on Nutter in next May’s primary, he will stay out of the race.

One reason, Katz says, is the advantage Nutter would have as an incumbent.

“I’m not unaware of the ally that conventional wisdom is to a sitting mayor, even one that’s not performing well,” Katz said.

When asked Monday if he was also ruling out a general election challenge to Nutter next November, Katz recalled that after his first loss in 1991, he ruled out another try:

“I’ve decided never to make statements like that again.”

Hear the entire Sam Katz interview in this KYW Podcast …

Katz has run unsuccessfully for mayor three times. His earlier runs for mayor came as a Republican, including two failed battles with John Street in 1999 and 2003.

Meantime, another former mayoral candidate, millionaire businessman Tom Knox, says with Katz out, he is now considering a challenge against Nutter in the May primary.

“I think Michael Nutter is a great guy, I like him a lot. I just don’t think he can run things as well as I can. And he’s proven it over the past two years.”

Knox says he wants to look at public opinion polling first before deciding. That decision, he says, won’t come before January.

Also on tap next year are races for all 17 City Council seats. Six current council members are enrolled in the DROP pension program, but they are still allowed to run again — and several of the six are expected to do so.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio

More from Mike Dunn
  • Ann

    Too bad Katz won’t take on Nutter. I would have worked for his campaign. Nutter is a huge disappointment. He said he was going to reform City Hall but he actually came in and it was business as usual. He did not seize the opportunity to make changes, and he lacked courage to make key changes in top city management (commissioners), then he brought in people like Rina Cutler who is a highly paid hack with control issues and a mean spirit!

  • John

    Raising taxes while keeping DROP is not the staff to vote for.

  • HIG

    Don’t fall for all this hype. If any Democrat challenges Nutter in the primary and wins, say hello to your new managing director, John Street.

    The real races are with City Council. Get rid of all of them.

  • jack markowitz

    Sam Katz to chicken to take on Nutter so he heads for the hills; Now the field is clear for Tom Knox to make a challenge. Will he or will he not? Or will he chicken out as well and Nutter again wins by default. One parrty rule leads to laziness and corruption. We need someone with courage, vision and view of the future to inspire Philadelphia. Yeah, that’s right, it’s the vision thing!

  • Mary

    Philadelphia is in need of a Republican party to clean up the mess the Democrats created.

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