Battle for the ballot

The can­did­ates are set for city and state races. The Times takes a look at the can­did­ates. 


  • The race is on: The Supreme Court race in the general election is set. Both Republican Sallie Mundy (pictured) and Democrat Dwayne Woodruff are unopposed in the primary. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

  • The Supreme Court race in the general election is set. Both Republican Sallie Mundy and Democrat Dwayne Woodruff (pictured) are unopposed in the primary. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

Last week was the dead­line for can­did­ates in the up­com­ing primary to file nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions, and there will be plenty of names to choose from on May 16.

At least that’s the case on the Demo­crat­ic side. There’s little com­pet­i­tion on the Re­pub­lic­an side.

For in­stance, Beth Gross­man — a former as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­ney and chief of staff for the De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions — is un­op­posed for the GOP nom­in­a­tion for dis­trict at­tor­ney.

The big race will be the Demo­crat­ic con­test for DA, as in­cum­bent Seth Wil­li­ams is not seek­ing a third term.

There are sev­en can­did­ates: Tariq El-Shabazz, the dis­trict at­tor­ney of­fice’s former first as­sist­ant and deputy chief for in­vest­ig­a­tions; former fed­er­al pro­sec­utor Joe Khan; former Mu­ni­cip­al Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni; former city man­aging dir­ect­or Rich Negrin; civil rights at­tor­ney Larry Krasner; at­tor­ney and real es­tate de­veloper Mi­chael Un­ter­mey­er; and former as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­ney Jack O’Neill.

El-Shabazz filed more than 8,000 sig­na­tures, more than eight times the re­quired amount. He kicked off his cam­paign al­most a week in­to the pe­ti­tion-gath­er­ing peri­od.

“I am humbled and honored by the sup­port that I have re­ceived dur­ing the pe­ti­tion peri­od,” he said. “To the hun­dreds of vo­lun­teers that can­vassed our city, to the thou­sands of voters who took the time to sign our pe­ti­tion, and to the en­tire city of Phil­adelphia, know that I will not let you down – I will fight every day for justice, I will work to make you feel safe, and I will be a dis­trict at­tor­ney who makes you proud to be a Phil­adelphi­an.”

Negrin, a former city man­aging dir­ect­or, is­sued a state­ment in re­sponse to the ex­ec­ut­ive or­der on im­mig­ra­tion is­sued by Pres­id­ent Trump that, among oth­er things, sus­pends the en­tire refugee pro­gram for 120 days and es­tab­lishes a cap of 50,000 refugees per year. Negrin’s fath­er es­caped the op­press­ive gov­ern­ment of Cuba to come to Amer­ica, what his son called “a shin­ing city on a hill.”

“It will tear fam­il­ies apart and cre­ate a cul­ture of fear where we should be build­ing re­la­tion­ships based on trust and re­spect,” he said of the ex­ec­ut­ive or­der. “What’s more, this or­der will have a neg­at­ive im­pact on our city. Im­mig­rants provide the sup­port and the back­bone that help keep our city run­ning smoothly. From en­tre­pren­eurs to uni­on work­ers to law­yers and doc­tors, im­mig­rants are crit­ic­al to the fab­ric of our city.

“In­stead of bring­ing us to­geth­er as Amer­ic­ans, the pres­id­ent’s ex­ec­ut­ive or­der will di­vide us across com­munit­ies. Make no mis­take, those deep­er di­vi­sions and lack of trust across our neigh­bor­hoods will not make us safer. It will neg­at­ively im­pact pub­lic safety across our coun­try and across our city. I op­pose this ex­ec­ut­ive or­der be­cause I be­lieve it will cre­ate more prob­lems than it solves and will, ul­ti­mately, be harm­ful to the city of Phil­adelphia.

City Con­trol­ler Alan Butkovitz has two op­pon­ents in the Demo­crat­ic primary, Re­becca Rhynhart and Bob­bie Curry. Rhynhart is the city’s former chief ad­min­is­trat­ive of­ficer. Curry has run for City Coun­cil and state rep­res­ent­at­ive.

The Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate is Holmes­burg res­id­ent Mike Tom­lin­son, a neigh­bor­hood act­iv­ist and former CPA.

City voters will also be choos­ing can­did­ates for Com­mon Pleas and Mu­ni­cip­al Court.

There are 10 open­ings on Com­mon Pleas Court, with 48 can­did­ates fil­ing. Judge Vince Fur­long, of Somer­ton, was the only can­did­ate to file on both tick­ets.

There are two open­ings on Mu­ni­cip­al Court. Ten can­did­ates, all Demo­crats, filed.

Statewide, voters will elect can­did­ates to Su­preme, Su­per­i­or and Com­mon­wealth Court.

The Su­preme Court race in the gen­er­al elec­tion is set. Both Demo­crat Dwayne Wood­ruff and Re­pub­lic­an Sal­lie Mundy are un­op­posed in the primary.

For four open­ings on Su­per­i­or Court, the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ates are the en­dorsed slate of Geof­frey Moulton, Car­o­lyn Nich­ols, Maria McLaugh­lin and De­borah Kun­sel­man, along with Wil­li­am Caye.

The Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates are the en­dorsed tick­et of Craig Sted­man, Paula Patrick, Wade Kagar­ise and Emil Giord­ano, along with Mary Mur­ray.

For two open­ings on Com­mon­wealth Court, the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ates are Todd Eagen, Joseph Cos­grove, El­len Ceisler, Bry­an Barbin, Wal­ter Barry and Irene McLaugh­lin Clark. The party has en­dorsed only Eagen.

The Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates are Christine Can­non and Paul Lal­ley.

City voters will also de­cide on the fol­low­ing ques­tion: Shall The Phil­adelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to al­low for the award of cer­tain con­tracts based on best value to the City?

Ac­cord­ing to the charter, con­tracts must be awar­ded to the “low­est re­spons­ible bid­der.” City Coun­cil, however, con­cocted the term “best value” in an ef­fort to, among oth­er things, in­crease di­versity. ••

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