Former Nutter top aide launches independent bid for City Council

 Andrew Stober announces his candidacy for Philadelphia City Council as an independent. (Kwame Miller/WHYY)

Andrew Stober announces his candidacy for Philadelphia City Council as an independent. (Kwame Miller/WHYY)

A former chief of staff for Mayor Michael Nutter’s Office of Transportation and Utilities announced his independent candidacy for a seat on Philadelphia City Council Wednesday.

Andrew Stober has his eyes set on one of the at-large seats. Of the seven seats available, five usually go to Democrats with the others reserved by law for the non-majority GOP. Stober would have to beat out a Republican if he wants to make history.

“There is no good reason that Philadelphia voters should be stuck on Election Day with only the choices offered to them by the Republican Party,” Stober said at a ceremony to mark his announcement.

With the slogan “Move Philly Forward,” Stober said he wants to address collecting unpaid taxes, maintaining safe neighborhoods, and insuring fair property taxes.

But his campaign will focus largely on education. Stober said he hopes to use charter schools as a positive example for the city district. After implementing new methods of teaching and supervision in charter schools, Stober said, that model could be used in the city’s traditional schools.

“Philadelphia simply cannot afford charter schools that fail their students, line the pockets of executives, and take scarce resources away from public school, Stober said. “We need to keep, grow, and learn from our best charter schools.”

Stober is a caring individual, said supporter Carolyn Mims-Clarke.

“I think he will be great for the city of Philadelphia’s city-council because of his dedication to schools,” she said.

Stober has a lot of work to do if he wants to win a minority seat from the Republicans; an Independent has never won a seat on Philadelphia City Council.

“Our history is not our destiny,” Stober said, adding that his campaign will rely on donations and fund raisers.

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