Philly City Council to fill 2 of 4 vacancies by special election in November

Four City Council members have resigned to run for mayor, but Council President Darrell Clarke is only scheduling special elections for two of the vacancies.

Philadelphia City Hall.

Philadelphia City Hall. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

Two extra races will be added to ballots in Philadelphia this November.

Council President Darrell Clarke has set up a pair of special elections to replace councilmembers Maria Quiñones Sanchez and Cherelle Parker, who resigned their seats earlier this week to run for mayor.

The special elections will be held concurrently with the general election on Nov. 8. The winners of the special elections will serve out the remaining council terms through next year.

Quiñones Sanchez in the 7th District and Parker in the 9th District represented nearly 340,000 residents.

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“It is vitally important that more than 339,000 residents of the Seventh and Ninth Districts have full, active representation in Council, with access to the specific kinds of constituent services and district-specific legislation that can only be provided by their district Councilmember,” Clarke said in a written statement.

Former councilmembers Derek Green, who also resigned this week, and Allan Domb, who resigned last month, will not be replaced this election cycle. Green and Domb are at-large council members, representing the city as a whole, and the council president decides when to replace them.

There’s no primary for the special elections; rather the political party leaders will select their nominees to appear on the ballot. Whoever wins the special elections will serve only until next year’s election when all council seats and the mayor’s office are up for grabs.

“It’s important that our elections be as open and democratic as possible,” Clarke said. “I expect a full, robust process of candidates and voters considering all their options next year.”

Quiñones Sanchez, Parker, and Green have all announced their campaigns to replace Mayor Jim Kenney. Domb has said he’s exploring a mayoral campaign as well.

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