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Brown looks like winner of GOP mayoral race

A week after the primary election, former schoolteacher Karen Brown is emerging as the apparent Republican candidate for mayor.

A week after the primary election, former schoolteacher Karen Brown is emerging as the apparent Republican candidate for mayor.

But opponent John Featherman said he is not giving up yet.

"I would agree it's leaning more in Brown's favor at this point, but it's not lost yet," he said. " . . . Nobody knows how many provisional ballots there are or what their effect will be."

City election officials completed a count of absentee ballots today and they left Brown with a 58-vote margin over Featherman, out of some 16,500 votes cast by GOP voters.

Brown, a former Democrat who had been interested in running for City Council, was recruited by the Republican Party leadership to oppose Featherman, who had allied himself with party insurgents.

The latest vote count is not official. It does not cover provisional ballots, submitted at the polls by voters whose names did not appear on official registration lists.

But election officials said they doubted the number of provisional ballots would change the outcome of the race.

On Monday, State Rep. Kenyatta Johnson was all but declared winner of the Democratic nomination to replace Anna C. Verna as City Councilman from the Second District, covering most of South and Southwest Philadelphia.

Johnson held a slim but solid 46-vote lead Monday over his nearest rival, Barbara Capozzi, as city election officials completed counting the absentee and provisional ballots cast in the Second District in last week's primary election.

The Second District results will not be official until the three-judge panel sitting as city commissioners certifies the results, a step expected in early June. It is still possible that some additional votes could arrive in the mail, from soldiers whose absentee ballots may arrive as late as 5 p.m. today.

But no issues suggesting that Capozzi will be able to overturn Johnson's apparent victory in the four-way race have surfaced.

The other candidates were Tracey Gordon and Damon K. Roberts, who withdrew a week before the election, too late to remove his name from the ballot.

The Republican candidate, unopposed in the primary, is Ivan Cohen, 66, a boxing manager and a longtime Republican committeeman, making his first run for public office.

Capozzi, a real estate agent and developer, sat glumly Monday in an office building at Delaware Avenue and Spring Garden Street as election workers opened absentee ballots and announced the results, one vote at a time, split almost evenly between Johnson and Capozzi.

She declined comment to a reporter, but afterward issued a statement that she is "considering all options" with regard to the election results.