In an editorial appearing Sunday, the Philadelphia Inquirer will endorse former City Councilman Michael Nutter for  the May 15 Democratic primary election.

The newspaper's editorial calls Nutter "the most promising package of achievement, persistence, smarts and vision."

The endorsement said Nutter, 49, "is easy to imagine on the national stage as the fresh voice of a resurgent Philadelphia, changing the narrative from one about bloodshed, corruption and dysfunction to one about new ideas, new energy, new partnerships."

As a second choice, the newspaper's editorial board urges voters to consider State Rep. Dwight Evans, whose service in Harrisburg it lauded, but whose campaign has failed to catch fire with voters.

The editorial board said three other candidates "don't measure up." It dismissed the candidacies of Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah. It also declined to support businessman Tom Knox, whom it called "not so much an outsider as a novice."

Chris Satullo, the Inquirer's editorial page editor, said the editorial board interviewed four of the candidates twice - once in the winter and once in recent weeks. Brady was interviewed only once.

The board met for 90 minutes Thursday to finalize its endorsement.

Nine of the 11 editorial board members took part, he said, as well as publisher Brian Tierney, the chief executive of Philadelphia Media Holdings.

Contact staff writer Andrew Maykuth at 215-854-2947 or amaykuth@phillynews.com.