Nutter’s path to re-election eases

Former Gov. Ed Rendell and Tom Knox, the self-made millionaire who announced he isn’t running for mayor, endorsed Michael Nutter yesterday morning. Despite first-term shortcomings, they said he effectively navigated the city through difficult financial times.

“Has he been perfect? Of course not. Has he made mistakes? Yes,” Rendell said. “But he’s done a good, solid, commendable job that merits the chance to continue.”

Knox noted that internal polling found he could win a general election as an independent, but “the campaign would have to be negative, and that’s not who I am.” He said he decided against it last Thursday, “when my wife gave me a piece of her mind.”

“I’ve had concerns myself, and I know he shares the same concerns. He understands that the citizens do too, but he’s willing to listen,” said Knox, who was credited with saving the city millions during 18 months as deputy mayor for management and productivity under then-Mayor Rendell.

Nutter will soon appoint Knox as chairman of the mayor’s task force on facility management, utilization and disposition, which is designed to generate new revenues through city properties. The appointment had nothing to do with Knox’s decision not to run, Nutter said.

Nutter nonchalant on Milton

With Knox’s decision not to run for mayor, T. Milton Street Sr. is the lone candidate who has declared himself as opposition in the May primary. When he announced his candidacy in West Philadelphia last week, Street challenged Nutter to a debate, but predicted the incumbent wouldn’t accept.

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