Tom Knox, a self-made millionaire, just withdrew from the Democratic primary election for governor, citing "family reasons" that he thrice declined to explain. Knox, who spent $11 million on a failed bid to become mayor of Philadelphia in 2007, said his personal fortune is still flush with cash but that his campaign fund-raising has been lack-luster.
"You'll see what we raised, which wasn't much," Knox said, referring to the Feb. 1 deadline for candidates to file campaign finance reports for 2009. "I was just about to put $5 million in to show people we were for real."
Instead, Knox endorsed Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato today and pledged to transfer his meager assets to that campaign. Knox also denied reports that he had asked Onorato for a post on the Liquor Control Board in return for his endorsement. "I never asked and he never offered," Knox said. "I don't need a job."
That doesn't mean he's retiring though. Knox said he was still in interested in some sort of public service. He had previously said he wasn't interested in another run for mayor but today said "no less than 50 people" have asked him to take another try. "Now that I'm not going to be governor, maybe I'll rethink that," Knox said.