Mayoral candidate Doug Oliver landed his first formal endorsement of the campaign season when Philly Set Go, a nascent “bipartisan PAC aimed at encouraging millennials to become more involved in state and local politics” announced its support on Sunday.
The group, which will “provide financial and voter-turnout support to candidates who promote and advance their agenda which is made up of issues that decide whether millennials will make Philadelphia their permanent home,” explained its decision as such:
Doug Oliver is the new leader that a dynamic city like Philadelphia needs: energetic, optimistic and forward-thinking.
Unburdened by obligations to the Philadelphia political establishment, including the traditional powerhouse of organized labor, Doug has the freedom and flexibility necessary to pursue new policy ideas to improve Philadelphia’s education system, grow Philadelphia’s economy, and continue Mayor Nutter’s laudable efforts to make city government more ethical and transparent.
Most importantly, Doug has demonstrated an earnest desire to engage millennials, hear about our concerns, and take our solutions seriously.
“After seriously evaluating all six candidates and polling more than 400 millennials and partners, Doug Oliver was overwhelmingly selected as our choice for Mayor of Philadelphia,” wrote Philly Set Go board member Matthew Fontana in a press release from the campaign. “We encourage Philadelphians of all ages to consider Doug Oliver, the candidate best prepared to be the independent mayor Philadelphia needs.”
Oliver said he was “thrilled to learn” of the endorsement, which marks the first of the campaign for the 40-year-old candidate.
“When you run an upstart campaign, you quickly realize that its very much like being at a party that no one invited you to attend,” he said. “Much like Philly Set Go you have to be a bit disruptive, but not disrespectful to show independence to the status quo. We’re looking to make real change for Philadelphia and this is a great part of that effort.”
For a complete list of all endorsements in the campaign, check out NinetyNine’s regularly updated Philadelphia Mayoral-Race Endorsement Tracker.
Speaking of that tracker, before this endorsment arrived, Oliver spokesman Mustafa Rashed maintained, “Doug Oliver does not have any endorsements from politicians, lobbyists, unions or other insiders. … As has been well documented, in the last mayoral election over 800,000 registered voters stayed home. With all due respect to unions, politicians and other insiders, it is their endorsement and engagement that means so much more.”
Asked what this endorsment means in that context on Monday, Rashed told NinetyNine:
“During this process, Doug Oliver has met with dozens of organizations, groups and endorsing bodies and to them all respectfully presented his vision for a better Philadelphia and asked for their support.
“I think its great to see an organization, especially a forward focused one like Philly Set Go have the courage and vision to endorse Doug’s campaign. They are a non traditional group so there is a perfect alignment with what Doug’s campaign is working to achieve.
“While there was no initial expectation of any endorsement, this one is welcomed enthusiastically. We look forward to their support and efforts to help Doug win the Democratic primary on May 19.”