A Tale of Two Cities Revisited
The Philadelphia Mayoral Election of 2003
This article examines the Philadelphia Mayoral Election of 2003, which was a re-match of the 1999 contest. The author contends that while Philadelphia remained a divided city, partisanship rather than race best explains the election’s outcome. By “nationalizing” the election, Democratic Mayor John Street tied his moderate Republican challenger, Sam Katz, to the unpopular Republican administration in Washington, D.C. The revelation of a recording device in Mayor Street’s office, rather than damaging Street, galvanized his African-American base while bringing a number of white Democrats back into the Street camp. These factors, along with a massive voter registration drive by Democratic Party operatives, transformed the party’s narrow victory of 1999 into a landslide four years later.
Copyright (c) 2007 Commonwealth
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Copyright © by The Pennsylvania Political Science Association
ISSN 2469-7672 (online)