Rizzo loses; Nutter wins; some cliffhangers

Two of the most famous names in Philadelphia politics lost this election night. Frank Rizzo Jr. faltered in his bid for another term as a Republican at-large Council member. With 96 percent of the votes tallied, he’s running seventh in a nine-person field, for five spots on the fall ballot. And Democratic Party fixture Margaret Tartaglione looks to have lost in her bid to be re-elected city commissioner.

Update 8:15 a.m.

Two of the most famous names in Philadelphia politics lost on this primary election night. Frank Rizzo Jr. faltered in his bid for another term as a Republican at-large Council member. With 96 percent of the votes tallied, he’s running seventh in a nine-person field, for five spots on the fall ballot.

And Democratic Party fixture Margaret Tartaglione looks to have lost in her bid to be re-elected city commissioner.

Lawyer David Oh, bidding to be the first Asian-American on Council, led the GOP field. Former House Speaker Dennis O’Brien was second. The other GOP nominees were John Untermeyer, Joseph McColgan and former mayoral candidate Al Taubenberger.

On the Democratic side, all five at-large Council incumbents – Blondell Reynolds-Brown, James Kenney, William Greenlee, Wilson Goode Jr. and Bill Green – won, but Goode and Kenney had some nervous moments thanks to challenger Sherrie Cohen, who came in a close sixth.

Michael Nutter has won in the Democratic primary for mayor of Philadelphia, but the results didn’t quiet questions about the strength of his political clout.  The theatrical but minimally financed campaign of Milton Street, a man recently out of prison, pulled about 24 percent of the vote.

In the Republican primary for mayor, the party-backed candidate, Karen Brown, is in an utter squeaker with John Featherman.  With 96 percent of precincts in, Brown leads by 59 votes. A recount seems inevitable.

You can check the city’s Web site for results here.

The Second District was the most competitive District Council race of the night, with Barbara Capozzi narrowly trailing state Rep. Kenyatta Johnson in the Democratic primary.  With 98 percent of precincts in, only 72 votes separate them.

The crowded Eighth District race was the slowest to come into focus, but in the end Nutter-backed candidate, Cindy Bass, an aide to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah easily outpaced six other entrants. (For more coverage of this race, see the Germantown and Mount Airy sections of NewsWorks.)

Party-backed candidate Mark Squilla whipped three opponents in the First Council District.

In the Sixth, high-spending union leader Bobby Henon thrashed Martin Bednarek in a nasty race. Henon, backed by his powerful union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, spent a whopping $600,000-plus. 

In the Seventh District race pitting former Councilman Daniel Savage against the woman who beat him four years ago, Maria Quinones-Sanchez won comfortably. 

In the less-watched races for district Council seats, some signs of an anti-incumbent sentiment can be seen, but not enough to knock out some veteran members.

In the Third District, Jannie Blackwell won over token opposition, but in the Ninth Marian Tasco, felt by many to be in line to become Council president, faced surprising resistance from Lamont Thomas got 29 percent of the vote. Ditto Darrell Clarke in the Fifth, where Suzanne Carn pulled 27 percent of the vote. In the Fourth, Curtis Jones had no opponent. Nor did Brian O’Neill in the 10th, though he’ll face a stiff challenge in the fall from Democratic nominee Bill Rubin.

In the sheriff’s race for Democrats, state Rep. Jewell Williams won easily over Jacque Whaumbush and John Cromer, a candidate who said he’d abolish the office if elected. Williams will face Joshua West in the fall.

In the Democratic city commissioners primary, Tartaglione was edged out for the two nominations by Stephanie Singer and Anthony Clark.  They’ll face Republicans Al Schmidt, part of a new reform wing in the city GOP, and Joseph Duda.

Turnout, never expected be strong and dampened by rain, was low.

Suburban races

In the suburbs, in the Montgomery County Republican primary for sheriff,  Eileen Whalon Behr beat Robert Durante. The other spotlighted race was the Bucks County Republican commissioners primary.  There, former commissioner Andrew Warren failed to unseat either of the incumbents Charles Martin and Roberty Loughery. Jay Russell was also in the race.

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