With just days until the primary election, the two candidates in Philadelphia’s 7th District Council race are fighting a familiar battle.
Maria Quinones Sanchez is frustrated. The incumbent councilwoman has the endorsement of Mayor Michael Nutter and District Attorney Seth Williams, but the city’s ward leaders are backing her opponent, Danny Savage.
In the last council election, Quinones Sanchez defeated Savage.
“He had all the unions and all the ward and party support, and we kicked his ass. We’re now the incumbent,” said Quinones Sanchez, adding she has aided more than 6,000 constituents and worked with 130 groups.”
Sitting in an office near Fifth and Lehigh in North Philadelphia, Quinones Sanchez said she feels more momentum this time.
“The fact that the party didn’t support me, I think, has outraged voters. It’s like all of a sudden she’s the only incumbent who doesn’t get endorsed because I’m a strong woman, because I’m a Latina, because of the way I look? It really speaks against the party,” she said.
Quinones Sanchez is running on her record of working with police to add bike and foot patrols to the district and trying to reform business taxes.
Savage announced his candidacy while standing on the corner of Kensington Avenue and Somerset Street.
“I decided to run because I grew up here, I love this community, and I don’t like the direction that it’s headed and I think I’m the person that can really head it in the right direction,” he said.
Savage, who said he believes Quinones Sanchez has not done a good job, said he has the support of some Latino politicians.
He also said he’s running on his record.
“Although I was in office for a brief period of time, I’m proud of what I accomplished,” said Savage who previously held the 7th District council seat. “I was able to restore our business corridors, including a special service district in Frankford. I called for more adult probation and parole officers.”
Savage said if elected he will support small businesses and crack down on deadbeat landlords.