What to Know
- Mike Stack lost his re-election bid last year for a second term as Pennsylvania Lt. Governor.
- The former state senator and lieutenant governor blamed the way the Philadelphia Board of Elections picks candidates' ballot positions.
- Stack is one of the more recognizable politicians from Northeast Philadelphia.
Mike Stack, one of the more well-known Northeast Philadelphia politicians of the last two decades, is dropping his bid for a City Council at-large seat.
The former state senator and lieutenant governor blamed the method that the Philadelphia Board of Elections picks ballot positions for candidates.
"The most disappointing aspect of this effort is that the fate of my candidacy was largely at the mercy of a coffee can, an archaic and dysfunctional system for determining ballot position that is not fair to anyone and needs to be reformed," Stack said in a statement.
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He is referring to an old Hard N Hardart can that has been used for years to hold numbers that candidates pick blindly from the can. That number is where the candidate will appear on city ballots for voters in the upcoming election.
Stack pulled #16, meaning he'd be in the middle of a stacked list of candidates running for Council at-large seats.
The ballot is particularly deep this year, in part because of two open Council at-large seats because of retiring incumbents. More than 30 Democrats filed petitions to run for at-large seats. Seven Republicans filed to run for at-large seats as well.
After the initial candidate filings earlier in March, the ballot was expected to be the biggest in three decades.
Stack's self-elimination, however, could portend more candidates dropping out of the race.
Stack, whose political career was feared over after he lost his re-election bid for lieutenant governor last year, said he will not stop working with other city Democratic leaders to push the party's platform.
"Although I have won convincingly in Philadelphia in my previous campaigns, overcame two challenges to my City Council At-Large nominating petitions and continue to enjoy widespread support from the leaders of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee, I believe I can better serve the party and the City at this time as a unifying force seeking to bring people together in common cause," Stack said in his statement. "I am withdrawing my candidacy and will work with Chairman Brady to help elect our endorsed candidates and build party unity for this election and the elections in 2020 when we have an opportunity to defeat Donald Trump, take back the United States Senate and win majorities in both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature."
It's Official: Candidates for Mayor, Sheriff, City Council in Philadelphia
Incumbents in nearly every elected position in Philadelphia are facing competition in the upcoming May municipal elections. Notably, Mayor Kenney faces an old foe, and two women are trying to unseat the incumbent sheriff and become the first-ever female sheriff in the city.
Democrat names are in blue and Republicans in red.