Doug Oliver hits the subway in pursuit of votes [photo gallery]

In this first installment of a photo-gallery series through which NinetyNine will embed with mayoral candidates between now and the May 19 primary, Tracie Van Auken accompanied Doug Oliver on a morning canvass along the Broad Street Line.

Among those who’ve noticed Doug Oliver’s ground-floor approach to campaigning is former mayor and governor Ed Rendell, who has publicly praised (but not formally endorsed) the 40-year-old upstart.

“He’s doing all the things I did as a 33-year-old running for District Attorney,” Rendell told NinetyNine of Oliver. “He has no money so he’s going to subway stations every morning, every afternoon, just like I did, hoping that lightning strikes.”

Here’s what Tracie saw and learned along the Broad Street Line with Oliver this Monday:

The Monday morning scene at Olney station in North Philadelphia is all hustle. Everybody is in a hurry and no one has time to chat. But this doesn’t faze Doug Oliver.

As one of many candidates jockeying for position in the upcoming Democratic mayoral primary, he’s hitting the bricks and taking time to talk.

“We’re trying to make up for what we don’t have in money with energy and a personal touch,” explained Oliver as he bounced from outdoors to underground, platform to train, and upstairs to down with tireless enthusiasm.

The passengers he spoke with often brought up two thing: Public schools and jobs, particularly for ex-offenders.

For two hours as the morning rush came through, he listened and pitched and encouraged people to remember him at voting time.

“I see him all the time. He looks like a good candidate,” said Janie Brooks, a North Philadelphia resident.

With the primary looming on May 19, Oliver has just over six weeks to convince enough of the city’s residents to agree with her.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.