As we predicted in this morning's newspaper, Sam Katz has ruled out a Democratic primary election challenge to Mayor Nutter next May. Katz, in a statement released early this morning, called for new leadership in the city but said he had decided for political and personal reasons to not take a fourth shot at running for mayor.
"Philadelphians vest a great deal of hope for our city in our Mayor and the kind of leadership that he or she can provide," Katz wrote. "As someone who has run for that office on three prior occasions, I understand the potential that a strong and visionary Mayor can create for the people of this city. Many of those I discussed my possible candidacy with feel that leadership and vision are lacking at this critical time."
Katz laments the "angst" and "aggravation" about city government he has heard from people as he discussed running for mayor in the last several months. His statement does not say whether he will support another candidate for mayor. You can read Katz's entire statement after the jump.
Statement by Sam Katz
Monday, November 8, 2010
For the past several months I have been listening to the voices of Philadelphians and hearing their concerns about the future of our city. They have spoken with a clear message of angst about the city’s lack of direction, expressed through the fears that parents have for the safety of their families and neighbors, the concerns of seniors with the rising cost of living in the city, and the frustrations of younger Philadelphians that the city isn’t competing well for decent paying jobs that can sustain families. I heard the concern about failing schools and the uncertain future facing so many children. I have also seen a growing aggravation with City government—its unresponsiveness, its inability to help solve community problems, and its unwillingness to partner with citizens on creative and collaborative projects to improve Philadelphia.
I have talked candidly with many community leaders about my making another run for the Office of Mayor and received much encouragement and support. Philadelphians vest a great deal of hope for our city in our Mayor and the kind of leadership that he or she can provide. As someone who has run for that office on three prior occasions, I understand the potential that a strong and visionary Mayor can create for the people of this city. Many of those I discussed my possible candidacy with feel that leadership and vision are lacking at this critical time. Philadelphia needs a City government that matches the growing optimism that has defined the nascent citizen-led renaissance of recent years.
While I believe that new leadership is needed, I have decided not to enter the 2011 Democratic Primary for Mayor. This was not an easy choice for me. Political and personal factors weighed most heavily in my decision.
Although Connie and my children supported my decision to pass on this race, they were all prepared to pitch in and work hard on another campaign, had I chosen that path. I am a very lucky man to have such a wonderful family.
I remain fully committed to working with other Philadelphians towards a better city, one that embraces the extraordinary capacities of its people to help make it stronger, more livable and more economically competitive. I am equally enthusiastic about the prospects of helping Philadelphians learn more about our city’s history through the documentary film on that history which we are producing. There is much more to be done on this exciting project. If we do it right, and we fully expect to, future mayors and other leaders of our civic life will gain insight into our city’s unique past in a way that can help all of us steer towards a brighter future.
I intend that my voice will continue to be heard on the issues that Philadelphia must now honestly and effectively resolve. And I look forward to those opportunities.