Philadelphia may be looking at a relatively quiet mayor’s race this year compared to 2007, but a passel of open seats on City Council are generating intense interest.
The deadline for candidates to file nominating petitions at City Hall was 5 p.m. Tuesday. The primaries are May 17.
A steady stream of candidates and their representatives trooped in throughout the afternoon, filing pages filled with signatures.
All those running will remain unofficial candidates until the City Commissioners confirm that each candidate has turned in the required number of valid signatures.
With five open seats on City Council, the number of eventual candidates could be staggering.
Take the Eighth District in Northwest Philadelphia, for example, where incumbent Democrat Donna Reed Miller is retiring. A flock of 10 candidates, all Democrats, filed papers to run.
In the Second District, City Council President Anna Verna’s departure has made room for seven potential competitors there, including one Republican. The districts covers parts of Center City, South and Southwest Philadelphia.
Four Democrats are interested in filling the First District seat. Councilman Frank DiCicco, citing the controversy over his participation in the city’s Deferred Retirement Option Plan, dropped out of the race Monday after four terms serving a district that winds along the Delaware River, including Center City.
In the Sixth District in the Northeast, incumbent Democrat Joan Krajewski’s decision to step down has left three candidates competing.
The only Council incumbents facing no primary opposition are Curtis Jones in the Fourth and Brian O’Neill in the 10th.
Of the seven at-large positions on City Council, only one, a seat currently filled by incumbent Republican Jack Kelly, is completely open. Six at-large incumbents are seeking re-election.
As of yesterday’s deadline, 31 candidates were vying for those positions. Traditionally, five Democrats and two Republicans are elected to fill the At-Large seats. The minority party is guaranteed at least two at-large seats.
While a lot of attention will likely be focused on City Council, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is also facing re-election. Three candidates have filed to challenge his bid for a second term, including one Democrat, Milton Street, former Mayor John Street’s older brother. On the Republican side, John Featherman and Karen Brown, if their nominating petitions hold up, will compete for the Republican nomination.
Other positions to be decided in this year’s municipal elections include City Commissioners, Register of Wills, Sheriff and Traffic Court Judges. Candidates for sheriff who filed petitions are: Democrats John Kromer, Jacque Whaumbush and Jewell Williams, and Republican Joshua West. Kromer has vowed to abolish the office if elected to it. Cheri Honkala, a well-known welfare rights activist, has announced that she is running for sheriff on the Green Party line.
Here is a rundown of Council candidates:
First District, all Democrats:
Vern AnastasioJoseph GraceJeff HornsteinMark SquillaSecond District
Barbara Capozzi – DVincent Defino – DTracey Jordan – DKenyatta Johnson -DDamon Roberts – DRichard C. DeMarco – DIvan Cohen – RThird District, all Democrats:
Jannie BlackwellAlicia BurbageTony OphaxFourth District
Curtis Jones Jr. – DFifth District, both Democrats:
Suzanne CarnDarrell ClarkSixth District
Marty Bednarek- DBobby Henon- DSandra Stewart – RSeventh District, all Democrats:
Maria Quinones-SanchezDaniel SavageJuan RodriguezEighth District, all Democrats:
Cindy BassAndrew LoftonVerna TynerGreg PaulmierDonna Gentile O’Donnell Robin TascoJordan DillardFay DawsonWilliam DurhamHoward TreatmanNinth District, all Democrats:
Marian TascoSabriya BilalThomas LamontRhaim DawkinsBobby T. Curry10th District
Brian O’Neill -R Bill Rubin – D