While members of the Philadelphia Republican Party have been publicly silent about our plans for this year's mayoral race, we have by no means been "desperate" or "pleading with Democrats" to "jump ship" ("Phila. Republicans: An endangered species," Jan. 19).

Unlike the Democrats, whose primary promises mudslinging, disunity, and race-card politics, those of us who are so-called insiders in the Philadelphia GOP are seeking unity behind one strong candidate. Consequently, our officers have been meeting with several prominent Philadelphians, some of whom include Democrats who approached us - not the other way around.

While the media like to speculate about who those individuals are, we respect the privacy of those who are considering putting their names on the ballot and will not publicize their names unless and until they have decided, after consultation with their family, friends and advisers, that this is the path they wish to take.

We encourage all Philadelphians who are tired with pay-to-play politics, high taxes, and high crime rates to join us. We have plenty of exciting ideas that you will hear about this election year.

John Featherman

Republican Committeeman, Fifth Ward