Oh, what could have been.
Had they exercised their electoral strength to the fullest extent, Northeast Philadelphia voters could have sent an unprecedented five of their own to City Council in last week’s general election. Instead, in this “change” election, voters took two steps forward and two steps back.
Even a tidal wave of support for lackluster Republican mayoral challenger Karen Brown wouldn’t have been enough to push her ahead of Michael “A New Day, A New Way” Nutter for the top spot, but the Northeast could have done better in the contest for Council at-large seats.
Denny O’Brien, the popular state lawmaker from Millbrook who long has dared to think for himself and not for Philadelphia’s sorry excuse for a Republican “opposition” party, surprised nobody by winning one of the two at-large seats “reserved” for the minority party.
Still, Northeast voters should have gone to the polls in larger numbers — 50 percent of registered voters would have been nice — to vote for Al Taubenberger and Joe McColgan, the other Northeast residents running for at-large seats. Had they done so, all three men could have been elected. Had voter participation in the Great Northeast been as great as it should be, NE Republicans could’ve captured a third at-large seat for the first time ever. You can bet Mayor Nutter would pay more attention to the Northeast.
David Oh, the lawyer from Southwest Philadelphia who narrowly beat Mr. Taubenberger for the second GOP at-large seat, hopefully will team up with Mr. O’Brien, 6th district Democrat Bobby Henon and 10th district veteran Brian O’Neill — who consistently votes the right way — to show Northeast Philly that it really does count. ••
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