By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The playing field is a bit clearer now that Philadelphia City Council president Darrell Clarke, with just four months remaining before the May primary, has decided against running for mayor.  But could there be a late entrant?

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City controller Alan Butkovitz was one of the potential candidates, but he dropped out in November.  He has said all along that he would not run if Darrell Clarke sought that office:  “It was really impossible to push that envelope with Darrell having one foot in and one foot out.”

But, after weeks of indecision, Clarke has decided that he will not leave council to run for Mayor.

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“It leaves a tremendous vacuum in the mayoral race,” Butkovitz acknowledges, saying he will revisit the Philadelphia political community and think about changing his mind. “There’s a ton of people whose opinions and whose willingness to fundraise would be relevant.”

Butkovitz thinks a successful candidate will have to raise $3 million.

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“Of course,” he says, “the drop dead deadline is the filing deadline for nominating petitions, in March.”

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