Mandel draws support of 4 local pols

City Controller candidate Brett Mandel is, in a sense, taking on the political establishment in his bid to unseat incumbent Alan Butkovitz.

After all, Butkovitz is a ward leader who is virtually guaranteed the backing of the Democratic City Committee. He’s also an ally of Local 98 of the electricians’ union, which has access to a wealth of political funds and election-day footsoldiers.

That makes it all the more noteworthy that four local elected officials today stepped up to announce they were endorsing Mandel.

State Sen. Larry Farnese, City Councilman Frank DiCicco, and state Reps. Tony Payton and Kathy Manderino got behind the upstart candidate.

“Senator Farnese believes that Philadelphia’s lack of accountability stemming from the failure of the current Controller to conduct regular audits makes legislating more difficult for himself and for his colleagues,” stated a Mandel campaign news release about today’s announcement, which took place at 3 p.m. at City Hall. “Senator Farnese is endorsing Brett Mandel for City Controller because Philadelphia needs a credible Controller who will work with Senator Farnese to change the perception of Philadelphia in Harrisburg.”

Farnese, supported by former state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, was opposed in his race by Local 98, and union president John Dougherty – making it perfectly unsurprising that he would back Mandel. The same could be said for DiCicco; he’s not on Local 98’s Christmas card list either.

Payton’s backing of Mandel makes sense as well; Payton was not backed by the Democratic Party in his initial legislative race in 2006.
Update: Butkovitz responded to Mandel's news by calling Mandel "the Fumo organization's reform candidate. ... The headline is the remnants of the Fumo machine have endorsed Brett Mandel, and that's interesting."
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