PHILADELPHIA – Mayor John Street (search) easily won re-election against a familiar rival Tuesday after a racially charged campaign that was turned on its head when an FBI (search) bug was discovered in the mayor's office.
The Democrat led Republican businessman Sam Katz (search), 58 percent to 42 percent with 95 percent of precincts reporting. Minor violence and intimidation were reported at polling places around the city.
Street won his first term by narrowly defeating Katz in 1999. This year Katz had a slight lead in polls before Oct. 7, when police discovered the FBI bug during what they described as a routine City Hall security sweep.
Street, 60, accused the Bush-controlled Justice Department of launching the probe for political reasons. Black leaders suggested the FBI targeted the mayor because of his race. Street is black; Katz is white.
Authorities refused to say what they are investigating, but have subpoenaed records about a variety of work performed by a Street fund-raiser.
Katz, 53, campaigned against a City Hall culture he called corrupt and crippled by patronage, but struggled to win over minorities in a city nearly evenly divided between blacks and whites.
"What it looks like is that the mayor got significant support across the city -- white, black and Latino. This is a victory for every single person in the city," said Street's spokesman Dan Fee.
Street, addressing hundreds of ebullient supporters at a victory party, said he has "served this city with integrity, with intensity, with a full commitment to the people, and I have largely been trying to do the things that are in the best interests of the people in Philadelphia."
The campaign, which saw accusations of misconduct fly this summer, remained emotional Tuesday. By the close of the polls at 8 p.m., the district attorney's office had received 171 calls about alleged harassment and interference at polling locations, according to spokeswoman Cathie Abookire.
At a University of Pennsylvania polling location, a professor said a Street supporter slapped him after a disagreement over the placement of political signs. Another Katz worker said a man riding a bicycle struck him in the arm with a two-by-four.
Meanwhile, a judge ordered two Katz supporters to stop asking voters for identification at a pair of polling places. Street campaign spokesman Frank Keel claimed that at another location, a man posing as a city official told voters the building was condemned.
Both campaigns raised more than $5 million since June and blitzed the airwaves with advertisements in recent days. The two candidates offered different plans for Philadelphia's future.
Street said he would continue his work to keep the city's finances stable while rebuilding its neighborhoods. Katz had proposed stimulating the city's economy by slashing Philadelphia's wage tax and borrowing heavily to cover city operations.