Bill Green: GOP candidate for mayor?

Mayor Nutter’s campaign on Wednesday did something it has not done before — released the results of a poll it conducted.

The campaign normally refrains from even acknowledging such activity, but it seemed to reverse course to trumpet findings that show Nutter in November squashing his predecessor, John F. Street, who is threatening to run as an Independent mayoral candidate.

Specifically, the poll, conducted of 503 general election voters on May 31 and June 1, estimated that in a three-way race, Nutter, a Democrat, would get 67 percent of the vote, Republican Karen Brown would get 14 percent, and Independent Street would receive 13 percent (less than half of what Street’s brother, Milton, received in his primary challenge to Nutter last month).

Another poll, though, is about to hit the streets, and this one will explore whether Nutter might be more vulnerable if two other candidates joined the general election race: former mayoral candidate and millionaire Tom Knox, as an Independent, and Democratic City Councilman Bill Green as the Republican nominee.

That's right, Green as the Republican nominee.

Turns out the election code provides for a political party to nominate for mayor any Philadelphia resident, regardless of party affiliation, who has lived in the city for the past three years - so long as there is a vacancy on the ticket.

“It’s one of those quirks, it’s never happened,” city Republican Party leader Michael Meehan said.

 Of course, there currently is no vacancy as Democrat-turned-Republican Brown is the GOP mayoral nominee.

Green could not be immediately reached Wednesday.

But a powerful ally of his, Local 98 electricians’ union business manager John J. Dougherty had this to say: “I don't expect anybody to beat Michael. He is making tough decisions in tough times, and I respect that. I don’t think the people of Philadelphia expect their leaders to be spending time playing chess when we have major educational funding issues and other major challenges.”