Black Clergy endorses Nutter's bid for reelection

February 7, 2011 3:40:09 PM PST
Don't look now, but the Philadelphia mayoral campaign has been starting quietly, if for no other reason than Mayor Michael Nutter has been raising money and a lot of it. Today, he received an important endorsement.

The Black Clergy, which says it represents more than 400 local churches, threw their weight behind Mayor Nutter's reelection campaign, while conceding they've had some serious differences with him.

One example, they say, is Nutter's scuttled plans to shut down libraries and swimming pools to balance the city budget.

With Mayor Nutter leading in fund raising and no strong challenger on the horizon, the Clergy decided to let bygones be bygones.

"He has done a remarkable job given the economic crisis that has crippled every city, practically, in this country," Bishop Audrey Bronson said.

"We've opened every library, every swimming pool, every recreation center, and every service is still being provided in this great city because Philadelphia is on the way back," Mayor Nutter said.

At this point, Mayor Nutter's road to reelection appears clear of any major obstacles, but it is a long time to November and some disparate forces are out here who would still love to topple him.

State Senator Hardy Williams had been making some noise about challenging the mayor in the May democratic primary, but today he formally said he won't run this year.

He was being pushed by former Mayor John Street, a bitter political rival of Nutter.

"I think this statement by Black Clergy may discourage some folks from thinking of running," Terrence Griffith of the Black Clergy said.

Mayor John Street's brother Milton thinks otherwise.

Fresh out of federal prison after serving over 2 years for tax evasion, in published reports, the former state senator says he's a law and order candidate who will fight for the city's poor.

Mayor Nutter says he's not sweating a challenge from Milton Street.