U.S. Rep. Bob Brady is now the official mayoral nominee of the city's Democratic Party. Which ought to be no surprise because Brady is the chairman of that same organization.

Brady was elected in a voice vote this morning by the city's 69 Democratic ward leaders.

The vote came after the congressman and three other Democratic mayoral hopefuls - State Rep. Dwight Evans, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, and former City Councilman Michael Nutter - addressed the party's policy committee. Businessman Tom Knox, the fifth candidate, did not attend the session.

The endorsement gathering had sparked controversy because some observers viewed it as rigged in Brady's favor. In recent years, the party establishment has opted not to support any candidates in open elections.

Evans and Knox have both called on Brady to step down as party chair.

Brady said the party chose to support him because ward leaders wanted a "unifier." He said the closed-door vote would give him a leg up in terms of organization.

Moments after the vote, Brady campaign posters were placed in the windows of the party headquarters on Walnut Street. Brady posters in the same windows last month initially touched off the controversy over party support for the longtime chairman.

Contact staff writer Michael Currie Schaffer at 215-854-4565 or mcschaffer@phillynews.com.