Germantown publisher Jim Foster plans to run for mayor as an independent, challenging Democratic nominee Jim Kenney and Republican nominee Melissa Murray Bailey in the November election.

"Since there are no real challengers, serious issues may never even be talked about. Maybe it would be good to have someone who knows the issues," Foster said Thursday. "I expect to be on the ballot."

Foster and any other independents who wish to run for mayor have until Aug. 3 to turn in at least 1,325 signatures on nominating petitions to be placed on the November ballot. Foster, 72, said Thursday he has 1,340 signatures so far but will continue to gather more signatures to avoid a petition challenge.

Foster is the publisher of two community newspapers, the Germantown Chronicle and the Northwest Independent. He has unsuccessfully ran for City Council in 2007 and Congress in 2012.

Foster said that because Kenney won with a small percent of voter turnout, a lot of Philadelphians might want another option. On Murray Bailey, he said "she may be a nice person but what she knows of Philadelphia could be on an index card."

Foster said he already has an attorney on hand to fight any petition challenges.

"I've done this three times... I'm doing this the proper way," he said.

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