Likely Spoiler for Brady Drops His City Hall Bid

Posted January 25, 2007 at 12:49pm

Rep. Robert Brady (D), who is poised to officially enter the Democratic primary for mayor of Philadelphia today, got good news earlier in the week when a former ally-turned-rival announced that he would not run.

John Dougherty (D), a prominent Philadelphia labor leader, said he would forgo the 2007 race because his wife and mother are ill.

“You get one mom and I get many elections,” he told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Dougherty, the president of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Philadelphia and a former treasurer of the city’s Democratic Committee, was expected to cut deeply into Brady’s support among working class and white ethnic voters.

Brady, who is the city’s Democratic boss, was once a close friend of Dougherty’s, but the two had a falling out last year and the Congressman engineered Dougherty’s removal as treasurer of the city party.

Dougherty’s departure leaves five major Democrats in the race: Brady, Rep. Chaka Fattah, state Rep. Dwight Evans, former City Councilman Michael Nutter, and wealthy businessman Tom Knox. The winner of the May 15 primary is almost certain to be elected mayor in November.

As in many cities, race could be a major factor in the primary outcome. Fattah, Evans and Nutter are black; Brady and Knox are white.
— Josh Kurtz