Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia, on Wednesday blamed Tuesday's light voter turnout in part on Anthony Clark, chairman of the three-member board of City Commissioners that oversees elections.

Michael Nutter, Democratic leader of the 52nd Ward, circulated a sample ballot for the May 19 primary election that encouraged voters to support Clark's bid for a third term.

Clark, a Democrat who was exposed last year for not voting in the last five elections, won the May primary and then Tuesday's general election.

Nutter, in a City Hall news conference Wednesday, said Clark needs to do a better job of encouraging voters to show up on Election Day.

"One of them, I have no idea if he voted yesterday or not, he can't seem to figure out how to vote himself," Nutter said. "We need strong leadership in that office to promote the idea in a non-partisan way of voting."

So if Nutter has a problem with Clark's leadership, why did he tell voters in the 52nd Ward to support him for a third term?

"The mayor's a good Democrat," Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald responded in an email. "The ward decided to support the entire Democratic ticket. His comments yesterday were his personal views."

Nutter knows well the potential pitfalls of not supporting the full Democratic ticket.  He took heat two weeks ago for endorsing a former member of his administration, Andrew Stober, who was running for an at-large City Council seat as an independent.

Nutter, while endorsing Stober on Oct. 20, did not mention two Democrats on the party's ticket for at-large seats -- Alan Domb and Helen Gym.  Stober lost on Tuesday. Domb and Gym won.

The Democratic City Committee's bylaws say a party official can be disqualified from holding a post like ward leader if they have "within a two-year period actively or inactively supported the candidacy at any general election of any person or persons not on the Democratic ticket."

Nutter has been referred to the party's Policy Committee, which is looking into his endorsement of Stober.

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