John Featherman, a 48-year-old realtor, likes to go against the odds.
Last year, the Jewish Republican made a long-shot bid for Philadelphia mayor and lost. This year, he’s challenging U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, the leader of the Philadelphia Democratic Party.
Brady crushed him in a 1998 House race and victory seems nearly impossible this time, too. Featherman has raised just a few thousand dollars and is campaigning during off hours while working full time.
But a campaign video Featherman released earlier this year that featured a naked actress, garnered some attention.
He argues that Brady is not representing Philadelphia’s interests. Featherman also said that by supporting President Barack Obama, Brady is backing a leader who is hostile to Israel.
“I am proud to be the only Jewish republican running in Philadelphia right now,” said Featherman, who lives in Chinatown. “He will probably win and that is unfortunate, because Philadelphia deserve better.”
Stanley White, Brady’s chief of staff, said the congressman has a long record of fighting poverty in his district and working to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“To say that you can’t be a supporter of the president and a supporter of Israel is completely ridiculous,” said White. While the president’s relationship with the prime minister “is somewhat problematic, the relationship between Israel and the United States has never been stronger.”