Nutter Breathing The Thin Air Of Inevitability?

“Can I shake the hand of the next mayor?” asked Brown, a factory worker from Frankford. Michael Nutter obliged. Every step the former city councilman took in the Gallery mall Thursday afternoon brought more confirmation of his new status as the man with momentum in the Philadelphia mayor’s race.

In recent days, Nutter reeled off a string of news-media endorsements, his TV ads gained traction, andnuttercpvsphawker.jpg the latest polls suggested that as the campaign enters its final stretch, voters have started to winnow down the five-man Democratic field in the May 15 primary to a contest between Nutter and Knox.

The week ended with supporters of U.S. Reps. Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah fretting, and State Rep. Dwight Evans bristling at reporters’ questions about whether he planned to withdraw. One of the city’s political power brokers was even quoted as musing that it might be time to unite behind Nutter – to stop Knox.

And Knox still worried State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, the Democrat said to be most responsible for persuading Brady to run. Fumo broached the subject in Harrisburg last week, two other legislators said.

“In essence, Fumo said, ‘Should we consider coalescing around Nutter?’ ” recalled Sen. Anthony Williams, who is backing Evans. “I didn’t take it to be any major push. He did say, ‘Well, we can talk about it later.’ ” Fumo declined to be interviewed for this article.

INQUIRER: Nutter, The Man For Our Season

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