I’d like to pretend we here at NewsWorks knew that NinetyNine’s launch day would be a seminal moment in Philadelphia Election Coverage V. 2015.
But even we didn’t know that Ken Trujillo — the field’s designated deep-pocketed dark horse — would exit the race within the next four hours.
Here we are, a shade under four months to the day from the mayoral primaries and we have our first shocker of what was heretofore considered a snoozefest. (Note to those who deemed it as such: Go sit over there with the people who picked the Packers over the Seahawks.)
Well, let’s get onto the what-it-means prognostication!
Our own Dave Davies offers some interesting insight into the developments; namely, that the former candidate “is urging former city Human Services Commissioner Alba Martinez to get in.”
In a phone interview late in the day, Trujillo spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said he was urging Martinez to consider a run for mayor.
Martinez didn’t respond to an email I sent last night.
This isn’t the first time her name has been mentioned in connection with the mayor’s race. Many people looking for some new blood in the race have talked about Martinez as an appealing candidate.
Now an executive at the Vanguard Group, Martinez is a former CEO of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and was a well-regarded Commissioner of the city’s Department of Human Services under Mayor John Street.
I’ve heard from friends she’s said she’s interested in public office someday, but not now. She told the Daily News when the subject came up in November that she was committed to her role at Vanguard.
Over at Citified, Patrick Kerkstra mentions a very familiar name that rhymes with “Ham Flats” while Holly Otterbein notes that “progressives lost their candidate, and an opening emerged for other contenders.” And those other contenders are?
Trujillo’s departure is also good news for two potential mayoral candidates: City Councilman Jim Kenney and City Controller Alan Butkovitz. Kenney theoretically now has more room to pitch himself as the progressive candidate, and Butkovitz could sell himself as the guy for supporters of traditional public schools.
Meanwhile, the Inquirer concurs that the move “significantly changes the calculus of the campaign, creating a vacuum that is certain to tempt others to consider entering the race.”
And then, there’s this “source”-based nugget from Reddit that indicates a coverage-paradigm shifting development of historic proportions.
Sources are telling me trujillo is out because rendell is in
Take that for what it’s worth
Aware of the buzz (but skeptical), Davies reached out to Rendell late Wednesday. The former mayor and governor was traveling and didn’t return the call. But we’ll get him on the horn, oh yes we will.
See? This mayoral race is gonna be fun after all, ain’t it?