Former Republican mayoral candidate Sam Katz has changed his voter registration to unaffiliated, positioning him to run as an independent candidate for mayor in the fall should he so choose.
Katz isn’t saying he plans to run for mayor — but he isn’t saying he won’t.
He doesn’t have a political committee and isn’t raising money, but tells me he’s done some “very detailed thinking” about some policy issues, including school funding, taxes and job creation, and unsolved violent crime.
“I’m going to be pushing those ideas out there,” Katz said. “And if they’re attacked, or adopted or ignored, they are what they are.”
The one thing that seems clear is that Katz won’t run as a Republican again.
Whatever you may think of Sam Katz, he’s had an interesting political career. A long time ago, he was a Democrat — a liberal Democrat, some would say.
He served on the Philadelphia school board in the 1980s, appointed by Democratic Mayor Bill Green. But he came to see the GOP as his best ticket to election, and he ran for mayor three times as a Republican, in 1991, 1999 and 2003, losing all three times. (He also took a run at the governor in the 1994 Republican primary.)
Katz has spent the last few years raising money for and producing a video history series of Philadelphia, which has been well received.
But he’s also been considering a run for mayor again, and toyed with the idea of entering the Democratic primary. His registration change indicates he’s abandoned that idea and will consider an independent run, depending on who the Democratic and Republican candidates are.
A lot of factors might boost or undermine an independent Katz for Mayor bid. I’ll ruminate on them soon, in this space.