These Names Sound Familiar: Digging into Philadelphia's Big Slate of At-Large Council Candidates

Philadelphia voters participating in the May 21 municipal primary will have a big ballot to choose from. Here's an initial look at some of the more notable candidates.

One of the biggest slates of candidates in recent memory is running in the May 21 municipal primary election. On the ballot are races for mayor, sheriff, all 17 seats of Philadelphia City Council, city commissioners and register of wills.

The most crowded race is for at-large council seats. Here's a full list of the 34 Democrats and 7 Republicans who are running.

And that list includes names that are well-known in Philly politics for all kinds of reasons. Here are some of the better-known people running:

Erika Almiron: The leader in the Latino community is longtime executive director of Juntos, a large nonprofit. (She has taken a leave while running for office.) She is one of the strongest voices for pro-immigrant rights in Philadelphia, a sanctuary city.

Latrice Bryant: The former top aide to onetime Councilman Wilson Goode Jr. was infamously busted by Fox29 for allegedly taking care of personal business while on city time. She then held up a sign during a Council session calling the news station racist.

Sherrie Cohen: Her name has been on ballots before, and her last name rings throughout City Hall because her father, David, was an institution on Council for decades, and died in office at 90 years old in 2005. During this campaign, she says, her platform is to run and become the first LGBTQ member of Council.

Bobbie Curry: After all official petitions were filed and counted Tuesday evening by the Board of Elections, two very similar names emerged in two different races. Bobbie Curry with an "ie" filed petitions to run for an at-large seat as a Democrat. Bobby Curry with a "y" filed petitions to run for the ninth district seat against incumbent Cherelle Parker. Both candidates list the same Northwest Philadelphia address. In a short phone interview Wednesday, Bobby Curry said he’s running for the ninth district seat. Still, we're not yet 100 percent ready to write off Bobbie in the at-large race.

Sandra Dungee Glenn: Her resume includes a stint as chairwoman of the now-defunct School Reform Commission, Philadelphia’s former state-controlled board of education, appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell. She also has deep ties to imprisoned former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, having served as head of Fattah’s former educational nonprofit and his chief of staff during Fattah’s time in the Pennsylvania Senate.

Bill Heeney Sr.: The Republican ward leader from the Torresdale section of Northeast Philly announced his candidacy in November at the city police union’s headquarters. Then a report surfaced showing a controversial social media history

Asa Khalif: The face of #BlackLivesMatter in Philadelphia and city police agitator exploded like a volcano on the political scene in 2017. His campaign could push back against the city Democratic party’s entrenched blue-collar establishment.

Mike Stack: A longtime prince of Northeast Philadelphia politics is trying to make a comeback. The former state senator won statewide office in 2014 as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor. But with great height comes potential for great fall. He self-imploded as Gov. Tom Wolf’s first mate, and lost re-election last year to John Fetterman.

Isaiah Thomas: Third time is the charm? That’s what the former City Controller’s office staffer is hoping this year. Often described as one of city politics' up-and-comers, he just barely missed out in 2015 when he finished sixth in the race for five Democratic at-large seats.


Here are the other candidates for at-large Council seats:

Ethelind Baylor, Democrat

Beth Finn, Democrat

Justin DiBerardinis, Democrat

Allan Domb, Democrat (Incumbent)

Irina Goldstein, Republican

Billy Thompson, Democrat

Adrian Rivera Reyes, Democrat

Bobbie Curry, Democrat

Vinny Black, Democrat

Helen Gym, Democrat (Incumbent)

Edwin Santana, Democrat

Derek Green, Democrat (Incumbent)

Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Democrat

Eryn Santamoor, Democrat

Matt Wolfe, Republican

Sandra Dungee Glenn, Democrat

David Oh, Republican (Incumbent)

Al Taubenberger, Republican (Incumbent)

Fareed Abdullah, Democrat

Dan Tinney, Republican

Fernando Trevino, Democrat

Drew Murray, Republican

Deja Lynn Alvarez, Democrat

Janice Tangradi, Democrat

Wayne Edmund Dorsey, Democrat

Joseph Diorio, Democrat

Wayne Allen, Democrat

David H. Conroy, Democrat

Mark Ross, Democrat

Willie Floyd Singletary, Democrat

Ogbonna Paul Hagins, Democrat

Melissa Robbins, Democrat

Hena Veit, Democrat

Devon Cade, Democrat

Here is a list of candidates for mayor, sheriff and Council district seats:

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.


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