A run for mayor for Bill Green?

billgreenphoto50063
School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green in his office in Philadelphia on February 25, 2014. ( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )

Bill Green IV is no longer chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission. Could a bid for mayor be next?

Green, a lifelong Democrat and son of a former mayor, changed his voter registration Tuesday to "no affiliation."

Asked if he was contemplating a run for mayor as an independent in the Nov. 3 general election, Green said Wednesday that he is "keeping all of [his] options open.".

Green made the change at City Hall on Tuesday afternoon, walking through the throng of candidates filing nomination petitions to be listed on the May 19 primary election ballot.

He joked at the time about when he could start circulating his petitions.

An independent candidate for mayor may start circulating nominating petitions for the general election on Wednesday.

To run as an independent in the general election, a candidate must disaffiliate from any political party at least 30 days before that year's primary election.

An independent candidate has until Aug. 3 to collect signatures on nominating petitions to run in the general election.

Democrats and Republicans must collect 1,000 signatures from registered voters from their parties to run in the primary.

An independent may collect signatures from voters from any party or from registered independents.

This year's mark for independents is 1,325 signatures. That is 2 percent of the number of votes received by the last winning candidate in a citywide election. That candidate was Ed Neilson, who won a special election with 66,204 votes last year to finish Green's term on City Council.

Green's political career has been marked by unconventional moves.

He was serving his second term in a City Council at-large seat in late 2013 when he started lobbying then-Gov. Tom Corbett and his Republican administration to be named as the next SRC chairman.

He took that post in February 2014.

Gov. Wolf, a Democrat who defeated Corbett in November, removed Green as SRC chairman last week.

Green contemplated a legal challenge but dropped that idea this week.

He remains one of five SRC members, with a term that runs until January 2019.

"My intention is to remain on the SRC for the balance of my term," said Green, who did not rule out an early exit to run for mayor. "I just wanted to leave my options open."

Green also said he had no time frame in mind for making a decision on whether to enter the mayor's race.

"There's no decision or inflection point that I can see," Green said. "I just felt like it was worthwhile making this change at this time."

Sam Katz, a three-time candidate for mayor as a Republican, switched his voter registration to independent last month.

Katz, asked Wednesday if he was contemplating an independent run for mayor, said he was waiting to see what happens in the six-candidate Democratic primary for mayor.

The Democratic candidates are State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, former City Councilman James F. Kenney, former District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, former Common Pleas Judge Nelson A. Diaz, former PGW executive Doug Oliver, and former State Sen. T. Milton Street Sr.

Melissa Murray Bailey is the lone Republican candidate for mayor.

Katz said he has been talking to voters and building a website - CitizenSam.net - that will launch Thursday to discuss issues on improving the city.

Katz's first topic on the website: how to close the funding gap for public education in the city.

 


brennac@phillynews.com

215-854-5973

@byChrisBrennan