PHILADELPHIA — Mayor W. Wilson Goode swept to victory over two Democratic primary challengers Tuesday, while former Mayor Frank L. Rizzo defeated a Republican rival after switching parties for his latest comeback bid.
Goode, the city's first black mayor, quickly built an edge over former Dist. Atty. Edward Rendell as the votes were counted. The other candidate was political unknown Bernard Salera, an ally of extremist Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr.
Rizzo had little trouble dispatching stockbroker John Egan, who was the GOP candidate when Goode captured City Hall in 1983. Republicans have not won the mayor's race in the nation's fifth-largest city since 1937.
Goode and Rizzo will now meet in the general election Nov. 3, in a rematch of the 1983 Democratic primary, from which Goode emerged triumphant.
MOVE Siege Criticism
Goode, seeking his second four-year term, was severely criticized for his handling of the 1985 siege and fire at the headquarters of the radical group MOVE. Rendell used that and other issues to attempt to portray him as incompetent.
After his victory became evident, Goode reminded supporters that he had said "all along that I thought that I would win."
"One down, and one to go," a jubilant Goode said. "Tonight the people have spoken, and the message is loud and clear. Philadelphia's future is now. . . . Don't listen to those who want to go back to the past, and those who talk only about what's wrong."
Rizzo pledged in his victory speech to work to "restore pride in Philadelphia. . . . Wilson Goode is going to have his hands full. He has been destroying this city, and I'm going to take my gloves off."
Comeback Effort Fails
Rizzo, who held office from 1972 to 1980 in this city of 1.6 million residents, was a lifelong Democrat until his first attempt at a comeback fizzled when he lost to Goode in the 1983 Democratic primary.
Rizzo, who was endorsed by the Republican Party city organization, had to get a court order before he could vote. Upon reporting to the polling place in Chestnut Hill he discovered that his name was not listed in the city's binder of registered Republicans.
"If I find out who did this, they'll need an orthopedic surgeon," Rizzo said in an interview with KYW radio. He did not accuse anyone, but said he felt his name was deliberately removed by one of "those hot-shot politicians."
Elsewhere, Denver Mayor Federico Pena was headed for a runoff as that city's voters were rejecting a measure to provide shelter for the homeless.
Pena swept an incumbent out of office four years ago but in recent polls the city's first Latino mayor was running about even with attorney Don Bain.