Ex-Democrat recruited by GOP bigs is likely to win endorsement

Posted: March 24, 2011

Democrats do not hold an exclusive claim on political weirdness in the race for mayor this year.

The Republican City Committee will meet tonight to consider endorsing a candidate for mayor.

On one side is John Featherman, the first candidate from either political party in the race for mayor. He has run for the U.S. Senate and for Clerk of Quarter Sessions on the GOP ticket.

On the other side is Karen Brown, a longtime Democratic committeewoman recruited at the last minute by local GOP leaders to challenge Featherman.

Brown, who is expected to win her new party's endorsement, said that she has been meeting with local GOP chairman Vito Canuso and general counsel Michael Meehan every week since they recruited her. She expects their support to lead to the endorsement.

"I'm going there with the anticipation that the endorsement is mine to have," Brown, a retired Catholic-school teacher, said.

Featherman cites Brown's sudden support as one more reason why he wants to challenge the GOP leadership. He expects Brown to prevail this evening but said that he'll ask the party's ward leaders to make no endorsement.

"I can't make a play for the endorsement," said Featherman, a real-estate agent, citing his problems with the GOP leadership.

The winner of the May 17 Democratic primary election will most likely face Mayor Nutter as he seeks a second term in the Nov. 8 general election. But Nutter must first endure what is sure to be a public spectacle of a primary against T. Milton Street, a former state legislator who was released from federal prison last year after serving 26 months for not paying taxes for three years.

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