One Philly Council race in a dead heat

Yesterday’s election brought some new faces to Philadelphia City Council, but one Council race is too close to call.

Two Democrats who began the year as outsiders, education activist Helen Gym and wealthy realtor Allan Domb will join Council, along with Democratic attorney Derek Green, who worked for Council in the past and had the backing of several elected officials.

They unseated incumbents in the May primary and all three easily won election yesterday.

On the Republican side, incumbents David Oh and Denny O’Brien, and challenger Al Taubenberger finished the evening in a dead heat for two at-large slots on the Council. A few hundred votes separated the three as unofficial returns came in, and there are still about 2,000 absentee and alternate ballots to be counted.

If the results don’t change, Oh and Taubenberger will go to Council, and the incumbent O’Brien will go home.  That would be a big fall for O’Brien, who once was the speaker of the Pennsylvania House.

Andrew Stober, the independent candidate who ran with the support of Mayor Michael Nutter and former Gov. Ed Rendell, finished well behind all the Democrats and Republicans. Stober raised $122,000, got some decent media coverage, but found it hard to overcome the party organizations.Stober tallied around 16,000 votes. The lowest vote-getting Republican, Terry Tracy got more than 27,000 votes. Green Party candidate Kristin Combs won about 11,000 votes.

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