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Sam Katz Resigns from PICA, Vague On Future Mayoral Plans

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(Sam Katz, in 2010 file photo)

(Sam Katz, in 2010 file photo)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Could onetime mayoral candidate Sam Katz run again for mayor next year?

Katz today resigned his post as chairman of the state agency that oversees Philadelphia finances — and he’s coy about his future political plans.

Katz, for the past three years the chairman of the board of PICA (the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority), has tendered his resignation in a letter to governor Tom Corbett.

Katz tells KYW Newsradio that he is stepping down for two reasons:  first, to focus more on his film production company, “History Making Productions.”

“This is a really critical time for my company and my projects, so this just seemed like a good time to move on,” he said.

But Katz says he is also leaving because PICA has just hired a new executive director.

“This is the third director that I’ve been involved with in three years, and I think that’s always frustrated my own efforts to focus PICA on some other issues besides the pure function of five-year (city budget) plan review,” Katz said today.

The move, though, comes as several politicians are already lining up to run for mayor next year.  Katz — who ran unsuccessfully for mayor three times — is not embracing the idea of trying again, but neither is he ruling it out.

“I would never say that my ambitions have been doused by my lack of success.  They certainly have been tempered by it, and I feel that there’s a lot of other ways to express my views about what’s going on in Philadelphia.  And whether that’s through communications, civic action, or politics, time will tell.”

(Dunn:) “So are you categorically ruling out another run for mayor next year?”

(Katz:) “I am categorically going to get up tomorrow morning and continue to do what I have been doing, which is making documentary films about the history of Philadelphia.”

Katz first ran for mayor in 1991, losing the Republican nomination to Frank Rizzo.  He was the GOP nominee in 1999 and 2003, losing both times to Democrat John Street.

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