Four years ago as Mayor-elect Michael Nutter got ready to take office, his focus was squarely on crime, education, ethics reform and rolling back the city’s onerous tax structure.
A few months later, the bottom fell out of the economy and most of his time was spent pulling the city out of a financial hole and recreating jobs that suddenly vanished. Along the way, he admits he made some missteps, such as trying to shutter city libraries, but has mainly stuck to his campaign priorities.
“Obviously the recession did have an impact, but it didn’t stop us from doing the things we said we were going to do,” Nutter said. “The reality is that we didn’t change the original plan.”
Nutter is a huge favorite in tomorrow’s election against political newcomers Karen Brown, a former Democrat running as a Republican, and Independent hopeful Wali “Diop” Rahman. While the Wharton grad isn’t overly confident of his re-election, he’s clearly looking ahead to chapter two of his mayoral story.
“I’m tremendously optimistic about the future of this city,” he said. “I love this city, I love these people. “I’m hopeful that the voters can give me this second opportunity to continue to serve as mayor of the city of Philadelphia.”
Brown seeks more than GOP support
Nutter’s primary challenger, former catholic school teacher Karen Brown, who joined the city GOP earlier this year, is also quick to point out that the ‘R’ besides her name in tomorrow’s election is unimportant.
“To those Democrats, and Independents and Green Party members, don’t be afraid to vote for something other than your party because truly party hasn’t done anything for you,” Brown, 52, said. “It’s not about the party, it’s about the person.”
Brown said she would partially relieve the burden on small businesses by eliminating private trash collection fees and push to abolish the School Reform Commission for an elected school board to oversee the Philadelphia School District.
Council, 10th District: Incumbent Republican Brian O’Neill faces a stiff challenge from Democrat Bill Rubin in a GOP-heavy district.
Council-at-Large: The five well-qualified Republicans vying for the two minority-party seats.
Commissioners: Two incumbents are challenged by Democrat Stephanie Singer and Republican Al Schmidt for seats on the Board of Elections.