They are the two highest-profile political party switchers in recent city history. But that doesn't mean that former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter endorsed Karen Brown, the Democratic City Committeewoman recruited this year by the Republican City Committee to run for mayor.
Specter, who jumped from the Republicans to the Democrats in 2009 in a failed bid to save his bid last year for a sixth term, said he bumped into Brown at a fund-raiser for a library to house is official papers at Philadelphia University. Brown invited him to drop by her July 14 campaign fund-raiser at the Vesper Club, a a half-block from his new law office in Center City.
"I stopped in as a courtesy," said Specter, who was surprised to hear the Public Record reported on its website and in its South Philly edition on Thursday that he was the guest of honor at the event and endorsed Brown. "I didn't even stay for the speeches."
Brown concurs. "I didn't ask for his support," she said of Specter. "I asked him to stop by. And he did."
An endorsement would have been big news because Mayor Nutter was one of many high-profile Democrats in the state to rally for Specter in advance of last year's Democratic primary election. Specter lost that race to former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, who lost in the general election to now-U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.