The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, November 04, 2003  

The Philadelphia Mayoral Race

There’s better news than that post just below is coming out of Philadelphia tonight: Incumbent Mayor John F. Street (D) today defeated businessman and former-school-board-member-who-didn’t-care-much-for-attending-meetings-and-little-stuff-like-that Sam Katz (R).

I’m pleased. I’m sure it was the Rittenhouse endorsement that put Street over the top. But I will say that Katz is no ordinary Republican. To be honest, a Katz victory would not have bothered me in the least. I think he would have made a fine and capable mayor. And, as noted here previously, he took pains to disassociate himself from President George W. Bush, efforts greatly appreciated and respected by Rittenhouse.

Repeatedly Katz told voters he was “not a national Republican,” that he would “go nowhere” in the party beyond Philadelphia, and that the mayor’s job is the one position about which he has dreamed his entire life. (A job he now has sought twice, but after the cushy jobs that made him the wealthy man he is today, of course.)

I found this claim dubious on its face. I doubt Katz had no political ambitions beyond City Hall. And does it really matter that Katz is “out of step” with the Republicon Party writ large? I don’t think so. After all, Pennsylvanians have been living with, and, for reasons beyond rational explanation, voting for, Sen. Arlen Specter (R) for decades.

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