Sam Katz took two things from Tuesday’s election results in regards to a city Republican Party under attack from its “Loyal Opposition.” Mayoral candidate John Featherman “far exceeded most expectations” and Al Schmidt advancing to the general City Commissioner election “bodes poorly for the prospects that [party leaders Mike Meehan and Vito Canuso] can hold onto power.” Both could embolden state officials – up to the governor – who already want the local GOP re-energized.
“The outcome could very likely put Stephanie Singer [the Democratic commissioner candidate who defeated stalwart Marge Tartaglione] and Schmidt in a coalition that could really impact the way elections are run in Philly,” said Katz who, in 1999, came within 7,200 votes of being Philadelphia’s first Republican mayor since 1952.
Schmidt didn’t follow Featherman’s boisterous approach. He just said anything that ensures “honest government” is worth pursuing.
“Some say competition within the party hurts its members, but I don’t adhere to that thought, obviously. What’s important is not so much what happened yesterday, but how we manage it moving forward,” he said. “If done right, the party is stronger because of it.”
Brown expects to be nominee
Karen Brown, the Democratic city-council candidate turned leading Republican mayoral nominee, expects to still be ahead after Friday’s officially count. She blamed party dissention for keeping John Featherman within 53 votes.
“I don’t know what the party’s doing but I know what I’m doing. I’m going to use that dissention to my advantage,” she said. “If it had been me, I’d have nipped it in the bud. But I’m ahead after running a mayoral campaign on $8,000. … Why settle for the crumbs when you can get the whole cake?”
Featherman, who said he knew nothing about Brown’s claim that the state Republican party sent Election Day money into town, called his opponent “an absolute disgrace.”
“She knows nothing about what it means to be a Republican and if she wins, it’ll be an insult to every good Republican out there,” he said. “She’ll drive the Meehanistas right out of power.”
Calls to the state party and city party head Vito Canuso were not returned.