PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It remains to be seen whether there will be a court challenge to the Republican primary for mayor in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, Karen Brown, who was recruited by party bosses, now leads John Featherman by 58 votes, more than a week after voters went to the polls (see previous stories).

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Featherman says that win or lose, his breakaway “Loyal Opposition” supporters are sending what he calls a “tremendous message” to Republican City Committee leaders.

“Thanks to those in the Tea Party and the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News who endorsed me, that indeed it’s the voters and not party bosses who will ultimately determine who the candidates are,” he said today.

Joe Lynch, the election material chief in the Philadelphia City Commission, says they are scanning and tallying about 50 remaining Republican provisional ballots to wrap up the vote count — although there are apparently not enough outstanding ballots to change the outcome.   A total of nearly 16,500 votes were cast in the Republican primary.

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Featherman says because it remains a razor-thin margin, if he’s declared the loser he may consider some kind of recount or court action.

“I mean, one third of one percent is too close to call, as far as I’m concerned,” he says.

Whichever candidate prevails will face Mayor Nutter in the November 8th general election, in a town in which Democrats outnumber Republicans, six to one.

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Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060