The political feud between Lt. Gov. Mike Stack and the Boyle brothers is so legendary that it got a mention last month in a high-profile court filing.
The Democratic families are “the Philadelphia political equivalent of the Hatfields and McCoys,” top Republicans claimed in opposing a new congressional district map proposed by Stack. The reason: Stack’s map would have put U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle in a politically inconvenient position.
And that’s only the beginning. Brendan’s brother, State Rep. Kevin Boyle, claimed in 2015 that Stack’s wife tossed a cup of soda on him at a church parish hall. That same year, a disagreement between the Stacks and Boyles over who should run for Brendan’s former state House seat helped clear the path for a Republican to win.
Now, after years of battling each other indirectly, will Stack and Brendan Boyle finally face each other head-to-head in an election? The city’s political scene has been abuzz over a rumor that Stack is thinking about dropping out of the lieutenant governor race — and challenging his longtime rival for Congress instead.
Marty Marks, a spokesman for Stack, said he has been “approached” about the possibility of running against Boyle in the new Second Congressional District. “Friends said Mike would make a good congressman.”
But, Marks said, running for Congress “is not under consideration” by Stack.
Marks pointed out that Stack filed his nominating petitions to get on the ballot for lieutenant governor a full week before the March 6 deadline.
“He likes his job. He’s doing a great job at it. And he’s committed to doing what he needs to do to be reelected.”
If Stack were considering a run for Boyle’s seat, he could file his petitions for his lieutenant governor campaign early, and then work on obtaining signatures to get on the ballot for Congress, which are due March 20. Then he could make a final decision about which race to pursue. You know, if he were considering a run.
In other news on the Second Congressional District campaign, WHYY’s Dave Davies reports that State Sen. John Sabatina, Jr. was thinking about campaigning against Brendan Boyle, but said he decided not to this year. (Kevin Boyle unsuccessfully challenged Sabatina in 2016.)
Last month, Clout reported that Sabatina, along with Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez and School Reform Commission member Bill Green, were rumored to be considering running against Boyle. Davies also writes that petitions are circulating to put Green on the ballot to primary Boyle.
Sánchez, meanwhile, told Clout Friday that she has decided against a congressional campaign.
Brendan Boyle did not respond to a request for comment for this story.