What about Rick?

ASSOCIATED PRESS Rick Santorum says he's "making no commitments at this point" to run again in 2016.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Rick Santorum says he's "making no commitments at this point" to run again in 2016.
Posted: April 05, 2013

THE PRIMARY election season for the 2016 presidential cycle may be three years away but we've already noticed one name missing from the pack of would-be contenders in several polls.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who finished second to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican primaries, is not getting much pollster attention.

That stood out to us because Romney finished second in the 2008 Republican primaries to U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who finished second in 2000 to former Texas Gov. George W. Bush. McCain and Romney went on to win the GOP nomination for president in their next attempts.

So Santorum's next in line and should be part of the 2016 pack of GOP contenders, right?

John Brabender, a senior Santorum strategist, shrugs off the lack of respect, saying pollsters and the media get distracted by what he calls the "shiny new toy theory."

To explain, Brabender notes that U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and radio host Herman Cain all enjoyed brief success and plenty of attention in 2012 before flaming out.

Brabender puts the odds of Santorum running for president at "better than 50/50 for sure."

Santorum, who represented Pennsylvania for two Senate terms and now lives in Virginia, told Newsmax.com on Wednesday that he is "certainly" open to another White House bid.

"I'm making no commitments at this point, but we're not doing anything inconsistent with running in 2016," Santorum said.

Brabender notes that Santorum will be in Iowa twice this month to speak to fund-raisers for religious groups. Santorum narrowly won the 2012 Iowa caucus, one of his 11 primary victories that year.

"Within the Republican Party, there has been this historic tradition that the person who comes in second generally does well and wins the nomination the next time," Brabender said, brushing aside the attention other potential GOP stars are now getting. "It really matters who's standing at the end, not the beginning."

Street to lose party nod

Sierra Thomas Street, a candidate for judge on the Court of Common Pleas, has been bumped from the Democratic Party Policy Committee's list for recommended endorsement.

That move comes a week after news broke that Street was investigated in early March for child abuse after her 13-year-old son, a grandson of former Mayor John Street, ran from her West Philly home to a police station with scratches on his eyes, cheeks and neck. No charges were filed.

The full Democratic City Committee meets Tuesday to vote.

Street has been replaced on the endorsement list by Leon A. King II, the city's former prisons commissioner. King said he has heard that. Street confirmed it as well.

Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for District Attorney Seth Williams, last week said the Police Department's Special Victims Unit recommended that no charges be filed against Street.

The 13-year-old's grandmother, Helen Mosee, read that in the Daily News and called a Special Victims Unit supervisor who reviewed the case. Mosee said the supervisor said there was enough evidence to file charges but that the District Attorney's Office did not agree.

Capt. John Darby, head of the Special Victims Unit, said his investigators make no formal recommendation on charges to the District Attorney's Office. They determine if enough evidence exists to provide probable cause of a crime for an arrest warrant.

"In this particular case, there just was not enough presented in its totality," Darby said. "That decision is ultimately made by the prosecutors."

Knox mulls run, again

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Tom Knox says he's looking to run for elected office.

Knox, a wealthy Philadelphia businessman who seems to crave attention for his political ambitions, declared Thursday that he will not run for governor in 2014 but may run for mayor in 2015.

"After careful consideration and many discussions with people whom I deeply respect, I am seriously considering a run for mayor of Philadelphia in 2015," Knox emailed reporters.

Knox finished second in the 2007 Democratic primary for mayor, ran briefly for governor in 2009 and 2010, and then toyed publicly for months with the idea of running again for mayor in 2011 as a Democrat or independent.

In February, Knox issued a news release saying he had a "serious intent to mount another campaign for political office." He just didn't know which office.

Knox now promises a "formal announcement of my plans in the very near future."


Email: brennac@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5973

Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN

Blog: philly.com/phillyclout

 

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