Darrell Clarke will not be running for the office.
According to Holly Otterbein of Citified, the City Council President will seek re-election in Philly’s 5th district instead.
“It is my intention to seek the Democratic nomination to serve a fifth term as representative of Philadelphia’s 5th Councilmanic District in the May primary election,” Clarke said via press release.
“I have been honored and inspired by many conversations with neighborhood citizens, business, union and political leaders who asked me to consider running for Mayor, but being Mayor has never been my primary goal,” he continued. “I will be grateful for another opportunity to serve the people of the 5th District and our neighbors throughout Philadelphia.”
Clarke’s decision will cause a number of potential consequences.
First, City Controller Alan Butkovitz largely decided to stay out because he thought Clarke would jump in. The possibility remains that Butkovitz decides he now has an opening.
Second, labor will likely now have no candidate to rally around.
Finally, it increases attention on State Senator Anthony Williams and former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, who are seen as the front-runners in the race. Former City Solicitor Ken Trujillo, who is wealthy enough to support his campaign, remains a wildcard. Former Nutter spokesman Doug Oliver and Judge Nelson Diaz are seen as long-shots at the moment.
Update: Lauren Hitt, Communications Director for Ken Trujillo’s campaign, released the following statement:
“Over the last few years, City Council President Clarke has played an invaluable role in introducing paid sick leave, lowering the wage tax, and decriminalizing marijuana, among other accomplishments. His continued strong leadership in City Council will benefit all Philadelphians. I look forward to working with him to strengthen our schools and create opportunities in all of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.”