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Tom Knox for Philadelphia Mayor, again?

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Millionaire Tom Knox says he may challenge Mayor Nutter in Philadelphia’s Democratic primary next year. He’s been talking with former Mayor John Street about his chances.

Tom Knox finished second in a five-way Democratic mayoral primary in 2007, spending nearly $12 million to get about a quarter of the ballots cast. That’s about $160 per vote.

Now Knox is thinking about a run at Mayor Nutter next year, and he’s spoken with former Mayor John Street, who’s also been talking with three-time mayoral candidate Sam Katz about Nutter’s vulnerabilities. Knox said he’ll see what Katz decides.

“It shouldn’t be both of us in. It’s going to be one or the other. You know if Sam is hell-bent on doing this, then I’ll back out. But if he’s not, I’m in.”

Asked if he was sure, Knox hedged a bit, saying he hadn’t fully decided. Some Philadelphia Republicans are hoping Knox will switch parties and run under the GOP banner. But Knox said if he runs, it will be as a Democrat, and he expects to write some big checks.

“Well I hope it’s not another eleven, twelve million dollars, ha ha, but who knows?”

Nutter had $1.3 million in his campaign fund earlier this year, and Knox says he’s prepared to spend millions to take him on.

“Oh yeah, absolutely. I’d have to give myself at least the same advantage Michael has. So if he has two million, I’ll have two million. If he has five million, I’ll have five million.”

Knox was an announced candidate for governor but dropped out earlier this year. If he spends big in the mayor’s race, a millionaire’s provision in the city’s campaign finance law will allow Nutter to pick up larger checks from his contributors. The primary is next May 17th.

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