Northeast Times

You can’t win ’em all

With de­feats in the city primary, Marge Tartagli­one and Frank Rizzo watch their long ca­reers sput­ter to an end.

Marge Tartagli­one mon­it­ors the polling num­bers as she awaits the res­ults on Tues­day May 17. Tartagli­one was de­feated by new­comer Stephanie Sing­er.

City Coun­cil­man Frank Rizzo’s par­ti­cip­a­tion in the con­tro­ver­sial De­ferred Re­tire­ment Op­tion Plan led to his re­sound­ing de­feat last week, while a hand­ful of North­east ward lead­ers dis­gruntled for one reas­on or an­oth­er with Marge Tartagli­one helped con­trib­ute to the vet­er­an city elec­tion com­mis­sion­er’s nar­row loss.

Mean­while, an­oth­er long­time com­mis­sion­er, Joe Duda, is fa­cing what ap­pears to be a very dif­fi­cult re-elec­tion bid.

While sev­er­al Coun­cil mem­bers en­rolled in DROP re­tired rather than face an angry elect­or­ate, Rizzo de­cided to run for a fifth four-year term.

The Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee did not en­dorse him, but he main­tained sup­port from some wards across the city. A couple of polls showed him at or near the top of the nine-man race for five nom­in­a­tions for Coun­cil at-large seats.

Adding in his name re­cog­ni­tion — he’s the son of the late May­or Frank L. Rizzo — and his of­fice’s sol­id repu­ta­tion for con-

stitu­ent ser­vices, and most ob­serv­ers figured he’d ad­vance to the gen­er­al elec­tion.

In­stead, he fin­ished a dis­tant sev­enth. The GOP nom­in­ees are, in or­der of fin­ish, Dav­id Oh, Den­nis O’Bri­en, Joe Mc­Col­gan, Al Tauben­ber­ger and Mi­chael Un­ter­mey­er.

Oh, Mc­Col­gan and Tauben­ber­ger en­joyed party sup­port. Mal­colm Lazin, the oth­er en­dorsed can­did­ate, fin­ished a close sixth.

On the Demo­crat­ic side, the in­cum­bents were all re-nom­in­ated. They are, in or­der of fin­ish, Blondell Reyn­olds Brown, Bill Green, Bill Green­lee, Wilson Goode Jr. and Jim Ken­ney.

In the gen­er­al elec­tion, the top sev­en fin­ish­ers win seats. Be­cause Demo­crats have a huge voter-re­gis­tra­tion ad­vant­age, they are al­most cer­tain to cap­ture five seats, leav­ing two to the GOP. The city charter re­serves two seats for the minor­ity party, which has been the Re­pub­lic­ans for 60 years.

Oh, a law­yer and ward lead­er from South­w­est Phil­adelphia, and O’Bri­en, a vet­er­an state rep­res­ent­at­ive and former House speak­er from Mill­brook, far out­paced the Re­pub­lic­an pack and ap­pear to be strong fa­vor­ites to pre­vail in the fall. O’Bri­en cel­eb­rated at Rose­wood Cater­ers.

The names will ap­pear on the Novem­ber bal­lot in or­der of fin­ish.

Still, the oth­er can­did­ates are hope­ful. “It’s a whole new race,” said Tauben­ber­ger, a Fox Chase res­id­ent and long­time pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce.

The the­ory was that, if Rizzo won re-nom­in­a­tion, he’d be im­possible to beat in the gen­er­al elec­tion be­cause of his city­wide con­nec­tions with Demo­crats.

“There are two open seats now,” said Tauben­ber­ger, not­ing that Coun­cil­man Jack Kelly is re­tir­ing.

Tauben­ber­ger, Re­pub­lic­an lead­er of the 56th Ward, watched vote totals come in at the Loudensla­ger Amer­ic­an Le­gion Post on Ox­ford Av­en­ue.

Mc­Col­gan, a Tor­res­dale res­id­ent, cel­eb­rated at Smo­keEat­ers Pub. He said voters made it clear that they want new voices and ideas. He be­lieves the city lacks lead­er­ship and vis­ion.

“We can’t ex­pect the same ca­reer politi­cians who cre­ated our prob­lems to get us out of them,” he said. “Over the com­ing months, I will con­tin­ue to share my ideas about job cre­ation and edu­ca­tion re­form to make sure that the next gen­er­a­tion has more op­por­tun­it­ies and stronger com­munit­ies.”

While in­cum­bent Demo­crats pre­vailed city­wide, many North­east voters pre­ferred a couple of chal­lengers. The lead­ing vote-get­ters in the 14 loc­al wards were, in or­der, Green, Ken­ney, Green­lee, Sher­rie Co­hen and Reyn­olds Brown. Andy Toy was a close sixth, and Goode was a dis­tant sev­enth.

Green, who is ex­pec­ted to run for may­or in 2015, won 11 North­east wards. Green­lee took two and Ken­ney one.

Ken­ney fin­ished only about 1,600 votes ahead of Co­hen across the city. It is be­lieved he suffered at the polls be­cause of his call to elim­in­ate DROP for all city work­ers.

Fin­ish­ing a dis­tant last in the 14-per­son Demo­crat­ic race was Janis Man­son, a psy­cho­ther­ap­ist from Rhawn­hurst. There hasn’t been a Demo­crat­ic at-large Coun­cil mem­ber from the North­east since 1975.

That’s the year Tartagli­one, of Ox­ford Circle, was elec­ted com­mis­sion­er, but she’ll be leav­ing of­fice at the end of this year after fin­ish­ing third in a sev­en-way Demo­crat­ic race for two nom­in­a­tions.

Tartagli­one, Demo­crat­ic lead­er of the 62nd Ward, was en­rolled in DROP, but ran for re-elec­tion in 2007, win­ning eas­ily. She then “re­tired” for a day just to col­lect $288,000 in DROP money, then re­turned to work. She de­cided to run again this year, and most pun­dits figured she’d win.

However, chal­lenger Stephanie Sing­er raised a lot of money and blas­ted Tartagli­one’s par­ti­cip­a­tion in DROP in mul­tiple mail­ings. Sing­er eas­ily fin­ished first in the primary.

An­thony Clark, a some­what ob­scure one-term com­mis­sion­er, edged Tartagli­one for the second spot.

Tartagli­one joined daugh­ters Ren­ee and Tina and 62nd Ward com­mit­tee people at Wissi­nom­ing Boys Club.

The com­mis­sion­er watched vote totals on a laptop com­puter show­ing her tak­ing an early lead, fol­lowed by Clark and Sing­er. Soon, Sing­er over­took Clark for second place, then topped Tartagli­one. Even­tu­ally, Clark passed his fel­low in­cum­bent and went on to nip her by 1,012 votes.

Tartagli­one won eight of the 14 loc­al wards and fin­ished second in three oth­ers. She won in the 23rd Ward, even though lead­er Dan Sav­age re­fused to carry her name on the sample bal­lot be­cause of her par­ti­cip­a­tion in DROP.

However, she fin­ished fourth in the 58th Ward, headed by state Sen. Mike Stack. He didn’t en­dorse her. In re­cent Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic lead­er­ship elec­tions, Tina Tartagli­one did not sup­port Stack.

Com­mis­sion­er Tartagli­one also placed fourth in the 41st Ward. New lead­er Con­nie Rodgers is a Stack aide.

Tartagli­one took third in the 56th Ward, headed by John Sabat­ina. He is an ally of In­ter­na­tion­al Broth­er­hood of Elec­tric­al Work­ers Loc­al 98, which was angry at Tartagli­one for sup­port­ing Marty Bed­narek over Loc­al 98 polit­ic­al dir­ect­or Bobby Hen­on in the 6th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict.

In the Re­pub­lic­an primary for com­mis­sion­er, Duda edged Al Schmidt for first place by 110 votes. Mar­ie Delany, who was en­dorsed by the party, fin­ished 1,600 votes be­hind Schmidt, a re­form ad­voc­ate who would seem to have the edge on Duda as they reach out to Demo­crat­ic voters in the fall cam­paign.

In the may­or­al race, party-en­dorsed Kar­en Brown, a re­tired teach­er from South Phil­adelphia, won the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­a­tion by just 57 votes over Re­altor John Feather­man, of Chin­atown. She’s the first wo­man to be nom­in­ated for may­or by one of the two ma­jor parties.

May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter won 76 per­cent of the vote in the Demo­crat­ic primary, but former state Sen. Milton Street sur­prised many by tak­ing 24 per­cent. Street was re­leased from pris­on last year after serving 26 months for fail­ing to file fed­er­al tax re­turns for three years. Nut­ter even sent a neg­at­ive mail­ing about Street — who had little cam­paign money — to Demo­crat­ic voters.

In oth­er races, Mark Squilla eas­ily de­feated Joe Grace, Jeff Horn­stein and Vern Ana­sta­s­io in the Demo­crat­ic primary in the 1st Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict. The dis­trict in­cludes a small por­tion of Frank­ford and Wissi­nom­ing. There was no Re­pub­lic­an on the bal­lot.

In the 5th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict, in­cum­bent Dar­rell Clarke hand­ily beat Su­z­anne Carn in the Demo­crat­ic primary. No Re­pub­lic­an filed. Clarke is ex­pec­ted to seek the Coun­cil pres­id­ency.

In the 9th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict, in­cum­bent Mari­an Tasco was not af­fected by her par­ti­cip­a­tion in DROP. She won 63 per­cent of the vote against La­mont Thomas and Bobby Curry. No Re­pub­lic­an filed. Tasco will likely vie for Coun­cil pres­id­ent.

In the Demo­crat­ic primary for sher­iff, Jew­ell Wil­li­ams de­feated John Kromer and Jacque Whaum­bush. He will face Re­pub­lic­an Joshua West and the Green Party’s Cheri Honkala in the fall.

In the Demo­crat­ic primary for Traffic Court, 53rd Ward lead­er Christine So­lomon eas­ily topped a 12-can­did­ate field. A Castor Gar­dens res­id­ent, So­lomon was lis­ted first on the bal­lot and had the party nod. She’ll be heav­ily favored in the gen­er­al elec­tion.

For Mu­ni­cip­al Court, Demo­crats nom­in­ated Mar­vin Wil­li­ams, mean­ing he’s all but cer­tain to be elec­ted in Novem­ber.

In the Demo­crat­ic primary for 10 Com­mon Pleas Court seats, the win­ners were Sean Kennedy, An­gelo Fogli­etta, Di­ana An­halt, Maria McLaugh­lin, Bar­bara Mc­Der­mott, Jonath­an Irvine, Charles Ehr­lich, Vin­cent John­son, Ed­ward Wright and Car­o­lyn Nich­ols.

Among those who lost was West Tor­res­dale’s Mi­chael Fan­ning, who placed 16th among 35 can­did­ates des­pite the party en­dorse­ment. He was ori­gin­ally en­dorsed for Mu­ni­cip­al Court, but Wil­li­ams ul­ti­mately got the nod and a much clear­er path to vic­tory.

Statewide, Vic Sta­bile won the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­a­tion for Su­per­i­or Court and the right to face Demo­crat Dav­id Wecht, who was un­op­posed.

Anne Covey eas­ily won the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­a­tion for Com­mon­wealth Court and will face Kath­ryn Boock­var, who edged Bar­bara Behrend Erns­ber­ger by less than 3,300 votes in the Demo­crat­ic primary. ••

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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