A potential independent candidate for Philadelphia mayor has decided against a fourth run for office.
Lacking what he said was the necessary “burning passion,” Sam Katz notified supporters Tuesday that he would not run for mayor again.
“I’ve run three times,” Katz wrote in an email. “I have always wanted to serve as mayor because I felt strongly that I could and would make an important contribution to the future of my city through my leadership, ideas and through collaborations with others.
“However, I have concluded that another run is not right for me today,” he stated.
The decision caps a year in which the 65-year-old Katz said he’d given serious thought to running as an independent.
“But to pursue the mayoralty of Philadelphia demands a burning passion for the job. I had that passion in the past. I recognize the difference today,” he said. “It takes much more than a sense of civic commitment and responsibility to mount a campaign, to be electorally successful and to effectively govern a complex and often contentious city.
Katz, who said Philadelphia “needs a new kind of fearless leadership ready and willing to pursue a very different course,” did not mention a specific candidate by name who embodies those qualities.
For his part, Katz said he will “contribute to Philadelphia’s future outside of elective office” through his website citizenssam.net and by speaking out.
Earlier Tuesday, Katz said he would not wait to see who wins the Democratic primary next week before making his plans known.
“I am going to make the decision very shortly,” he said. “It’s personal. It has nothing to do with political outcomes in the primary, and we are going to make it public.”
Katz has lost three mayoral races — twice to John Street when Katz ran as a Republican. As an independent candidate, he was well aware it wouldn’t be easy to win.
“Anyone considering an independent race would be marching up a very steep hill, so that’s not a variable,” he said. “The variable really is personal.”