It’s been a wild and woolly year for those of us who cover politics in Philadelphia. We thought we’d look back at the top 5 political stories of the year:
- John Street vs. Mayor Nutter. This story just got weirder and weirder. Several months ago, the former mayor began loudly bashing Nutter – suggesting, among other things, that he was not perceived as a black mayor -- and publicly encouraging pretty much anyone else in Philadelphia to run against him. So far, no one has stepped up.
- PHA Scandals. What began as a story about former Philadelphia Housing Authority Director Carl Greene’s unpaid mortgage bills ballooned into a wide ranging investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Greene, as well as reports that PHA staffers were required to pay for parties and other festivities. Greene has been fired and a federal probe into his management of PHA continues.
- The Specter/Sestak/Toomey race – The epic battle to control one of the state’s Senate seats started when longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties to avoid a primary battle. Then he lost in the Democratic primary anyway to scrappy U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak. But Sestak couldn't fend off conservative former congressman Pat Toomey, who’ll take over the seat in January.
- Gov. Corbett – The political story that was finished before it started. As it was always predicted, Republican state Attorney General Tom Corbett won the gubanatorial race in November and will bring a new level of conservatism to Harrisburg next month.
- The Fall of Perzel – In an upset that seemed unbelievable up until the very end, longtime Republican state Rep. John Perzel -- who rose to leadership in the state House of Representatives, but was weakened by corruption charges – lost his seat to a Democratic newcomer. Kevin Boyle will take over his Northeast Philadelphia district.