It was poised to be one of the most riveting campaigns in the Philadelphia region, pitting a young congressman against a member of one of the city’s storied political families.
But a match between School Reform Commissioner Bill Green and U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle wasn’t meant to be.
On Monday, Green dropped his bid to unseat Boyle.
Green, a Democrat, said he didn’t think he had enough time to build a serious primary campaign in Pennsylvania’s new Second District, whose boundaries were imposed by the state Supreme Court only a month ago.
“It was too late to mount a credible bid when the districts came out if you were not already geared up,” he said.
Green also said that “one consequence of pursuing this was that a private-sector professional opportunity popped up” that he is “very excited about.” He declined to elaborate.
Green, a former city councilman whose father and grandfather were members of Congress, filed paperwork this month with the federal government to campaign against Boyle.
He also obtained a legal opinion from the School District stating that he could run for the House of Representatives while sitting on the SRC. Gov. Tom Wolf and three independent election analysts disagreed, saying state law bars SRC members from seeking political office.
In order to get on the ballot, Green would have needed to submit at least 1,000 signatures supporting his candidacy by Tuesday at 5 p.m.
While explaining on Monday why he was dropping out of the race, Green took a parting shot at Boyle. Green said that several city wards were going to support him — perhaps even enough to win the local Democratic Party’s endorsement.
“I think I had 362 divisions, which is the caucus,” he said. “But then you never know in Philly.”
Asked for comment, Boyle spokesman Ken Snyder said “it would have been awfully difficult to beat” the incumbent.
“He had lined up endorsements from environmental groups, anti-NRA groups and Planned Parenthood, and he had the resources to tell his story,” Snyder said.
Michele Lawrence, a former regional vice president of Wells Fargo, has also announced that she is running against Boyle.