Philadelphia’s Republican mayoral debate took an interesting turn Wednesday night when one of the two candidates, Karen Brown, did not attend. John Featherman spoke unopposed, taking questions from moderator Larry Mendte and the audience.
“Karen Brown’s not showing up was an act of cowardice and disrespect,” said Kevin Kelly of the Loyal Opposition, one of the debate’s sponsors.
Brown’s candidacy angered many Republicans, especially conservative subgroups. Though she is endorsed by the Republican City Committee for mayor, Brown was running for City Council as a Democrat until early March. Her absence came amid rumors of collusion with RCC chairman Vito Canuso, who reportedly objected to some of the sponsors. Neither Brown nor Canuso could be reached Thursday.
“I would submit that Canuso is not a legitimate person or party head,” Kelly said.
Beyond on the interparty squabbling, the candidate who actually showed Wednesday, John Featherman, admitted that “unless there’s a miracle of God, neither Karen Brown nor John Featherman will be the next mayor,” but “we can win many ideas.”