By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council opened its 2015 session this morning with one lawmaker — City Council president Darrell Clarke — reaffirming that he won’t run for mayor and another — Jim Kenney — saying he’s still exploring the idea.READ MORE: Hospitals Throughout Philadelphia Region Seeing Baby Boom More Than A Year Into Pandemic
Clarke called a press conference for this morning, an hour before Council opened its 2015 session, fueling speculation that he might be doing an about-face on his decision last week not to run for mayor.
“Bunch of e-mails, bunch of phone calls, wanting to know if I was announcing that I was getting back in the race,” he began.
But the answer from Clarke was a firm ‘no.’
“I made it clear. I’ve made my decision (not to run). I’ve moved on. I think it was the appropriate decision not only for me personally but for my ability to do work for the citizens of Philadelphia,” he said.
Clarke says at an event last night, one supporter — an elderly woman — was so angry that he won’t run that she socked him.READ MORE: 22-Year-Old Man Killed In Fairmount Park Shooting, Philadelphia Police Say
“The lady walked up to me, hugged me, said she loved me, and then she said she was very angry with me and then she punched me in the chest. Fortunately she was relatively small, so it didn’t hurt too much.”
All this comes a day after one announced candidate for mayor, Ken Trujillo, surprised everyone by dropping out of the race because of family matters.
In light of that, city councilman Jim Kenney says he is still very much exploring the idea of jumping in.
“I’ve never said that I wasn’t running. I haven’t said yet that I am. Certainly the dynamic of Ken Trujillo being out does change the landscape a bit. Not drastically, but a bit,” Kenney noted.
So, Kenney says, he’ll have a decision within a week or so.
“It’s still a work in progress. And I’m vetting the process, trying to determine whether or not there’s a path for being successful. It hinges on whether or not I can win. It hinges on my personal financial situation. I’m not going to go bankrupt as a result of running for office, when I have to resign to run,” he said.MORE NEWS: Gunfire From Sharon Hill Officers Killed Child, Injured Four Others Outside Delaware County Football Game, DA Says
Clarke, meantime, spelled out City Council’s agenda for the coming session. He said the coming months will be dominated by the issue of school district funding, a proposal to mandate earned sick leave, and a renewed debate on the future of the Philadelphia Gas Works.