Brady to Stay on Ballot in Mayor’s Race for Now

Posted March 29, 2007 at 11:04am

A judge ruled Tuesday that Rep. Robert Brady (D) can remain on the ballot in the May 15 Democratic mayoral primary in Philadelphia, despite failing to report his annual city pension, as required, on his financial disclosure form.

But Brady’s position on the ballot isn’t all that secure: One of his chief rivals for the Democratic nomination plans to appeal the judge’s decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Businessman Tom Knox (D) called the judge’s ruling “big-boss politics at its worst,” according to Wednesday’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

Knox was one of several Brady foes to challenge Brady’s candidacy. They argued that the omission of the pension information under the city’s disclosure form was a violation of city rules and disqualified him from running for mayor. But the judge — who was brought in from Luzerne County to preside over the case because as chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party, Brady is intimately involved in the election of the city’s judges — agreed with the Congressman’s contention that he was not required to disclose the pension.

Furthermore, Senior Judge Patrick Toole Jr. wrote, “We believe, whenever possible, election contests should be decided by the hand of the voter in the election booth and not by the pen of the judge in the judicial chamber.”

Brady is one of two House Members seeking to replace outgoing Mayor John Street (D); Rep. Chaka Fattah (D) is the other.

Until recently, polls have shown Fattah ahead, but the free-spending Knox, whose advisers include Joe Trippi, has shot up in the most recent surveys. The other leading Democratic candidates are state Rep. Dwight Evans and former City Councilman Michael Nutter.

In a racially divided city such as Philadelphia, Knox would benefit from Brady’s departure from the primary contest, and vice-versa. They are the two white candidates in the field.

The winner of the primary is almost certain to be elected mayor in November.
— Josh Kurtz