For O’Neill, it wasn’t even close

Demo­crats hold a 25-per­cent­age-point ad­vant­age in the 10th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict, and Bill Ru­bin spent the cam­paign sea­son knock­ing on doors and knock­ing Re­pub­lic­an City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill on the De­ferred Re­tire­ment Op­tion Plan.

O’Neill, elec­ted in 1979, had a big cam­paign war chest and al­ways has won a big per­cent­age of votes from Demo­crats. He re­peatedly said he’d nev­er en­roll in DROP. In the end, the race was not close. O’Neill piled up 59 per­cent of the vote in a dis­trict that runs from Burholme to Somer­ton and in­cludes most of the Far North­east.

Ru­bin mon­itored the res­ults from his cam­paign of­fice near Ben­nett Road and Roosevelt Boulevard be­fore mak­ing his way at about 9:45 p.m. to the Red Roost­er, where he was greeted by sup­port­ers and Ber­nice Hill and her crew of com­mit­tee people from the 63rd Ward.

The los­ing can­did­ate was up­beat.

“I feel good. It was a great race,” he said. “We got our mes­sage across.”

Dur­ing the cam­paign, Ru­bin stressed Coun­cil re­form, call­ing for an end to out­side em­ploy­ment and city-is­sued cars and en­act­ment of term lim­its. He hopes the six new mem­bers of Coun­cil lead the ef­fort on some of his is­sues.

“We’ve changed the de­bate in the city,” he said.

Ru­bin was happy with the res­ults in his home 63rd Ward, based in Fox Chase and lower Bustleton. Four years ago, O’Neill crushed Sean McAleer in the ward by al­most 1,900 votes. Last week, Ru­bin cut the de­fi­cit to a little more than 700, al­though turnout was lower than that of 2007.

“There was a huge dif­fer­ence in the 63rd. We picked up a thou­sand votes,” he said.

Ru­bin gave up his job as the city’s su­per­visor of elec­tions and said last week he doesn’t know if he’ll re­turn. He did not rule out a fu­ture run.

“This book is not fin­ished,” he said. “There are a lot of chapters to be writ­ten.”

O’Neill dom­in­ated in the Far North­east’s 66th Ward, win­ning al­most 2 to 1.

The in­cum­bent did not of­fi­cially de­clare vic­tory un­til about 10:25 p.m. at the Know­lton Man­sion.

“It’s al­most a twenty-point win. That’s like a double land­slide,” he told sup­port­ers. “I’ll take ‘too close to call’ like that any time.”

Among O’Neill’s biggest sup­port­ers was Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5. John McNesby, the uni­on pres­id­ent, de­ployed re­tired and act­ive po­lice of­ficers to the polls.

“Our might was be­hind Bobby Hen­on in the primary,” he said of the win­ner in the 6th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict. “I put eighty-five people on the street in the 10th today. I nev­er thought it would be tight. Bri­an was above board and told the truth. When the phone rings, he an­swers it.”

O’Neill, the son of a po­lice of­ficer, re­cog­nized the FOP’s back­ing.

“Nobody sup­por­ted me like the Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice,” he said. “The FOP stood as tall as you can stand.”

O’Neill also thanked his fam­ily, cam­paign man­ager Joe Mc­Gar­rity and his cam­paign and of­fice staff for win­ning their di­vi­sions and wards.

Look­ing ahead, O’Neill plans to con­tin­ue to op­pose any pro­posed tax in­creases and will con­tin­ue to use the zon­ing pro­cess to keep Far North­east neigh­bor­hoods thriv­ing.

Demo­crats will hold a 14-3 ad­vant­age in the next Coun­cil. O’Neill will be joined by Denny O’Bri­en and Dav­id Oh, who nar­rowly de­feated Al Tauben­ber­ger  for the oth­er at-large seat. O’Neill will need Oh’s back­ing to re­main minor­ity lead­er.

Coun­cil Demo­crats, not happy with a 14-3 edge, passed a re­dis­trict­ing bill that takes Re­pub­lic­an-lean­ing areas of the 57th Ward out of the dis­trict and re­placed them with Demo­crat­ic strong­holds in the Rhawn­hurst-based 56th Ward.

O’Neill ex­pects to have the same pas­sion for the job in 2015.

“I’m run­ning again,” he said. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­


Ward O’Neill Ru­bin

35  175  160

53  316  320

56  758  849

57 1,558 1,040

58 3,332 2,679

63 2,575 1,847

65   135    48

66 4,555 2,329

Total 13,404


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