By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Republican Mayoral candidate Sam Katz says although it’s not likely, he isn’t ruling out a run as an independent candidate next year. But, he is willing to weigh in on the announced and likely candidates running for mayor in Philadelphia.

When we spied Sam Katz at the Franklin Institute as Lynne Abraham announced her candidacy for mayor, we were curious whether he was endorsing her. He responded in a heartbeat, “I was actually going to see the heart and the locomotive, and somebody told me there was a press conference here.”

She invited him; he didn’t endorse her, but he thinks she has what it takes.

“Lynne’s candidacy is viable if no one endorses her.”

Reporter: Because of her name recognition and experience?

“Because of the gravitas of the person. Everybody knows her. She’s a formidable candidate. The big obstacle is money.”

A businessman and historian, Katz ran as a Republican for mayor in 1991, 1999 and 2003.

His thoughts about the Democratic field, other than Abraham?

“One of the biggest problems in this city, and I won’t say this as a politician – although I am one – is the Democratic party.”

He says most are not up to the challenge and have not demonstrated integrity.

“I think the farm system in the democratic party is very weak.”

Katz says when people talk about the big problems in Philadelphia, chief among them are school funding issues. He says we’re weak in that category because of poor representation in Harrisburg.

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