Northeast Times

After the election, it’s all in the numbers

City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill en­joyed a com­fort­able re-elec­tion vic­tory last month, but an ex­am­in­a­tion of the num­bers in­dic­ates that it’ll be a little bit of a tough­er fight in four years.

O’Neill (R-10th dist.) was first elec­ted in 1979 and earned a ninth four-year term on Nov. 8 when he de­feated Demo­crat Bill Ru­bin by a count of 13,594 to 9,419, or 59 per­cent to 41 per­cent.

Demo­crats hold a 14-3 ad­vant­age in City Coun­cil and, in the re­cent re­dis­trict­ing pro­cess they tried their best to make sure the edge grows to 15-2 in 2015.

Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones-Sanc­hez (D-7th dist.) was crushed by Dan Sav­age in the May primary in the 56th Ward and wanted to dump the 25 di­vi­sions in the ward. Out­go­ing Coun­cil­wo­man Joan Kra­jew­ski (D-6th dist.) has two di­vi­sions in the 56th Ward and, work­ing in con­junc­tion with then-Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate Bobby Hen­on, de­cided that she didn’t want the 6th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict to ab­sorb much of the 56th be­ing va­cated by Quinones-Sanc­hez.

O’Neill has 14 di­vi­sions in the 56th, and lost them by just 91 votes to Ru­bin.

However, Coun­cil dumped the oth­er 27 di­vi­sions in the 56th Ward in­to the 10th dis­trict, and most of them are heav­ily Demo­crat­ic.

O’Neill has said he doesn’t mind hav­ing the rest of the 56th, be­cause he has rep­res­en­ted those di­vi­sions in past years.

The coun­cil­man, though, is more up­set at the ter­rit­ory that was taken away from him. Spe­cific­ally, he wanted to main­tain the 18 di­vi­sions in the 57th Ward, but he’ll have none in the next elec­tion cycle. Hen­on will rep­res­ent all of the 57th.

In the race against Ru­bin, O’Neill won those di­vi­sions — gen­er­ally in Holme Circle, Academy Gar­dens, Tor­res­dale and Pennypack Woods — by 1,558-1,040.

O’Neill will also lose eight di­vi­sions spread across the 35th, 53rd and 65th wards. He won those by 123 votes.

As long as O’Neill stays strong in the 58th, 63rd and 66th wards, he should be fine in four years. But the loss of the 57th Ward di­vi­sions and the in­crease in the 56th Ward di­vi­sions will prob­ably have a num­ber of Demo­crats — in­clud­ing, per­haps, a few state rep­res­ent­at­ives — eye­ing the race in 2015.

••

Of­fi­cial res­ults from the Nov. 8 elec­tion showed Dav­id Oh de­feat­ing Al Tauben­ber­ger by 203 votes for the sev­enth and fi­nal at-large City Coun­cil seat.

Demo­crat­ic in­cum­bents Bill Green Jim Ken­ney, Blondell Reyn­olds Brown, Wilson Goode Jr. and Bill Green­lee were easy win­ners.

Denny O’Bri­en was, by far, the lead­ing Re­pub­lic­an.

Tauben­ber­ger, pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce, earned 6,606 more votes than Oh in the North­east’s 14 wards.

Oh, a law­yer and ward lead­er from South­w­est Phil­adelphia, made up the de­fi­cit in oth­er sec­tions of the city.

••

Demo­crat Stephanie Sing­er will be the next chair­wo­man of the city elec­tion com­mis­sion­ers’ of­fice.

Sing­er was elec­ted last month, along with Re­pub­lic­an Al Schmidt and Demo­crat An­thony Clark.

In the primary last May, Sing­er suc­cess­fully tar­geted 36-year in­cum­bent Marge Tartagli­one.

In the gen­er­al elec­tion, Schmidt suc­cess­fully ar­gued that he’d be more ef­fect­ive than Re­pub­lic­an in­cum­bent Joe Duda.

Had Duda won, he likely would have voted to make the low-pro­file Clark the chair­man.

Schmidt sup­por­ted his fel­low re­former, Sing­er.

“Al Schmidt and I were elec­ted by our re­spect­ive sup­port­ers be­cause they want to see changes and im­prove­ments in the city com­mis­sion­ers’ of­fice. And both of these things are com­ing,” Sing­er said.

Sing­er and Schmidt will as­sume of­fice on Jan. 2.

••

The lead­ers of the Re­pub­lic­an Party in Phil­adelphia and the sub­urb­an counties last week re­com­men­ded that the South­east Caucus en­dorse state Sen. John Raf­ferty for state at­tor­ney gen­er­al.

Raf­ferty, elec­ted in 2002, rep­res­ents a dis­trict that in­cludes por­tions of Berks, Chester and Mont­gomery counties.

The Re­pub­lic­an State Com­mit­tee will en­dorse a can­did­ate on Jan. 28. Cum­ber­land County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Dav­id Freed is also seek­ing the en­dorse­ment. Raf­ferty is a former deputy at­tor­ney gen­er­al.

Mike Mee­han, gen­er­al coun­sel of the Phil­adelphia Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee and chair­man of the South­east Caucus, cited Raf­ferty’s le­gis­la­tion to en­hance pen­al­ties for driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence and his co-spon­sor­ship of meas­ures to bet­ter track and pro­sec­ute sexu­al of­fend­ers.

“Sen­at­or Raf­ferty has been a lead­er in pro­tect­ing the people of Pennsylvania, both as a sen­at­or and former deputy at­tor­ney gen­er­al,” Mee­han said.

The Demo­crat­ic can­did­ates are former pro­sec­utors Dan Mc­Caf­fery of Phil­adelphia and Kath­leen Kane of Lack­awanna County and former Bucks County con­gress­man Patrick Murphy.

Re­pub­lic­ans have won all eight races for at­tor­ney gen­er­al since it was made an elec­ted of­fice in 1980.

••

John Ver­non has ended his cam­paign for the 2012 Re­pub­lic­an U.S. Sen­ate nom­in­a­tion.

The re­tired U.S. Army col­on­el was hop­ing to chal­lenge Demo­crat­ic Sen. Bob Ca­sey Jr. He didn’t have the per­son­al wealth of a few can­did­ates nor the name re­cog­ni­tion of ex-state Rep. and gubernat­ori­al can­did­ate Sam Rohr­er.

“After six months of be­ing on the cam­paign trail, I’ve looked back upon the per­son­al toll this jour­ney has taken on my fam­ily and the sac­ri­fice they have made to sup­port my de­cision to run for the United States Sen­ate. Now, after a lot of re­flec­tion and pray­er, it is my time to sup­port them, which is why I’ve made the de­cision to sus­pend my cam­paign,” he said.

Ver­non plans to en­dorse one of the re­main­ing can­did­ates. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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