KEN TRUJILLO really wanted this story to be about Ken Trujillo.

But the Democratic primary election for mayor is just eight months away and the city yesterday entered the "Me too!" phase of the campaign.

Trujillo, a former city solicitor, stood in front of the Philadelphia School District yesterday to formally announce his run for mayor.

He gave voice to a platform loaded with ambitions for public schools, but short on details of how his goals would be reached.

City Controller Alan Butkovitz, a likely contender for the Democratic nomination, issued a juicy news release shortly after that, accusing Mayor Nutter of operating a City Hall "VIP hot line" for the well-heeled to get services.

Nutter's staff quickly dismissed Butkovitz's claim as ludicrous and uninformed.

While they were doing that, a political consultant for former District Attorney Lynne Abraham started calling reporters to let them know - oh hey, by the way - that Abraham has every intention of running for mayor.

When will Abraham officially enter the race? Her advisor, Eleanor Dezzi, had no idea.

Butkovitz and Dezzi said their moves yesterday had nothing to do with Trujillo's announcement.

Back on the School District's sidewalk, Trujillo demanded an end to the School Reform Commission, which the state set up to take over the district in 2001.

The city's mayor appoints two of the five SRC members, but has no power to disband it.

Trujillo could not say how he would accomplish that or what would follow the SRC.

The City Charter calls for a nine-member Board of Education, appointed by the mayor.

Trujillo also called on the state General Assembly to pass an extraction tax on natural gas drillers to help fund universal prekindergarten classes in the city. The Legislature has refused to pass such a tax for several years.

"As mayor, one of the things you have to be able to do is be convincing, and you have to be able to get people to buy into your ideas," Trujillo said when asked how he would accomplish his goals.

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN
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