Knox To Endorse Nutter

Millionaire businessman Tom Knox won’t just get out of the mayor’s race today ­– he’s set to endorse Mayor Nutter at a morning press conference.

Knox, who came in second to Nutter in the 2007 mayoral primary, will make the announcement at 10 a.m. today at a news event set up for former Gov. Rendell to endorse Nutter. The campaign just announced the news -- first reported by Dave Davies on Newsworks this morning.

Now that Knox is backing Nutter, any chance of a competitive primary election seems pretty much over.

After publicly toying with another run for several months, Knox commissioned a poll last week to gauge how he would fare against Nutter in this year’s Democratic primary or as an independent in the general election.

While those poll results aren’t available, a recent poll for the Daily News showed that Knox faced trouble in the city with name recognition.

A Franklin & Marshall College/Daily News Poll released two weeks ago showed that 57 percent had not heard of Knox, and another 13 percent were undecided while 16 percent held a favorable view of him and 11 percent held an unfavorable opinion.

The poll showed Knox trailing Nutter in a general election re-match 46-28 percent with 26 percent undecided.

The poll also showed 53 percent thought Nutter should not be re-elected to a second term.

Knox in September said Nutter was doing a bad job in his first term and did not deserve a “free pass” to re-election.

Knox flirted first with a primary campaign and then with an independent run in the general election, which would allow him to seek the votes of Republicans and independents along with Democrats unhappy with Nutter. Last week, Knox seemed to shift his focus back to the primary.

So far, former state legislator T. Milton Street, who was released from federal prison last year after serving 26 months for not paying his income taxes, is the only Democrat running against Nutter.