The Legislative Reapportionment Commission was rumored to be considering a March 14 vote on a new map, but the April 24 primary is still expected to take place under existing lines.
That day, there will also be special elections for six vacant seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
One of those contests will be for the 169th Legislative District seat, formerly represented by Republican Dennis O’Brien, who joined City Council on Jan. 2.
The candidates for the special election are Republican Dave Kralle and Democrat Ed Neilson.
Kralle, who worked in O’Brien’s House and Council offices, won backing last week in a conference call among Republican City Committee chairman Vito Canuso and ward leaders O’Brien and Joe Duda.
Also on April 24, Kralle will face teacher John McCann is a primary. He’ll need voters to push his button for two different races.
“I’m letting people know they are allowed to vote twice in the city of Philadelphia. It’s not an urban legend,” Kralle said.
Kralle’s campaign office is in O’Brien’s former House office on Academy Road.
Neilson, a former electricians union official who worked in the administration of Gov. Ed Rendell, has a campaign office at the Grant Academy Shopping Center. He’s already met with potential developers for the vacant former Northeast Auto Outlet site, which is across from his campaign office.
In campaigning door-to-door, Neilson is seeing a lot of people home during the day, an indication of the high unemployment rate.
“So many people are home because they’re out of work. It’s sad,” he said.
Neilson, who has hundreds of campaign signs on lawns, will not reopen O’Brien’s former district office, as Kralle will.
“It’s a little tough for seniors to get up and down those steps,” said Neilson, who will look for another location if he is elected.
William Dunbar, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and state Rep. Tony Payton, is the Democratic challenger to state Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.).
Dunbar, a 27-year-old Port Richmond resident, is married and has three children. He’s raised $30,000. His fund-raisers have attracted Payton, Mayor Michael Nutter and former Mayor Wilson Goode.
The challenger has the support of Democratic ward leaders and said state Rep. Kevin Boyle and state Sen. Mike Stack are in his camp. Richie Antipuna, who was considering entering the primary, is supporting Dunbar, who expects the House Democratic Campaign Committee to decide in the summer if it will heavily invest in the race.
Dunbar was born in the same year, 1984, in which Taylor was first elected. He could benefit from a high voter turnout for President Barack Obama.
“It’s going to be a tough race, but the numbers on paper say it’s a Democratic district,” he said. “I’d love to debate him on the issues.”
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 board of directors has voted to endorse 15 candidates, all Democrats, in next month’s primary.
The endorsed candidates include U.S. Reps. Bob Brady and Allyson Schwartz, state Sen. Mike Stack and state Rep. Brendan Boyle.
The FOP is backing Ed Neilson in the 169th district. The union chose challenger Dan Collins over state Rep. Kevin Boyle in the 172nd district.
Lodge 5 is backing Patrick Murphy for state attorney general and Eugene DePasquale for auditor general.
Despite failing to get the FOP endorsement, Kevin Boyle has raised more than $200,000 and plans to take in $500,000. He has the support of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, AFSCME District Council 33 and 47 and unions representing sprinkler fitters, plumbers, steamfitters, bricklayers, boilermakers, electricians, roofers, operating engineers, ironworkers, elevator constructors and sheet metal workers.
James “Scoot” Clay is expected to get the official party endorsement in his primary challenge to state Rep. Tony Payton (D-179th dist.).
Ward leaders Dan Savage (23rd), Bill Dolbow (35th) and Emilio Vazquez (43rd) are with Clay, a Frankford resident who is married with four children.
Clay’s father, James Sr., is associate minister of Second Baptist Church. His mother, Frances, erved as president of the Frankford Civic Association before she died in 2010.
A graduate of Smedley Elementary School, Harding Middle School and Frankford High School, Clay coaches basketball for Deni Playground. His campaign is focusing on crime, education, health and economic development.
Numa St. Louis, who is challenging state Rep. Mark Cohen (D-202nd dist.) in the primary, will appear on Marvin Barrish’s radio show on Monday, April 2 from 2 to 3 p.m.
The show can be heard on WNJC (1360 AM) or wnjc1360.com
The call-in numbers are 856-227-1360 and 856-232-7077.
Dr. Jill Stein, who is seeking the Green Party nomination for president, will appear Monday at 7 p.m. at the William Way Community Center, at 1315 Spruce St.
The public is invited to attend. Stein favors forgiving student debt and ending tuition at public colleges and universities.
In 2002, Stein ran for governor of Massachusetts, taking 3.5 percent of the vote in a race won by Mitt Romney, the favorite to capture the Republican presidential nomination this year.
Among the others seeking the Green Party presidential nod is actress/comedian Roseanne Barr.
A book about three recent reform vs. machine races is available for download in all Kindle formats on amazon.com
John Kromer, Julie Proulx and Andy Denison have authored the e-book Money, Mojo and Votes: Political Reform and Election Reality in Philadelphia.
The campaigns included in the book are Brett Mandel’s challenge to City Controller Alan Butkovitz in a three-way Democratic primary in 2009; Stephanie Singer’s successful campaign last year for elections commissioner; and Kromer’s unsuccessful challenge to party-backed Jewell Williams in last year’s Democratic primary for sheriff. ••EndFragment