Election primer: Two contests for District City Council
We’re just about a week away from the general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. While you may be up to speed on the mayoral candidates — Democratic nominee Jim Kenney and Republican Melissa Murray Bailey — there’s a lot happening on the sidelines, with little time to catch up.
Three long-shot Independent contenders for the mayor’s office, open seats in the at-large City Council race, two district council challengers, a red-versus-blue battle for Supreme Court, endorsements going against the grain...
We don’t want to overwhelm you. So to make this easy, we’ll focus on one race a day — no opinion added. Just the candidates you’ll see on the ballot and a little bit about them. First up...
Two races to watch in District City Council
Philadelphia is divided into 10 legislative districts, and each one has its own councilperson. Democrats run the show, and only two seats have any competition next week from other parties.
Both of them happen to be in politically powererful northwestern districts.
Michael Galganski (Free Dominion Party) is challenging incumbent Councilwoman Cindy Bass in the 8th District. The free what? Galganski, a music professor and Germantown resident, founded the Free Dominion Party in 2012. It’s based on an ideology he calls “Digitarianism.” You can read about it on this Wordpress blog.
After 40 years in Philly politics, Councilwoman Marian Tasco will be retiring at the end her term in January, leaving her 9th District Council seat up for grabs. The hopeful contenders are Kevin Strickland (R), State Rep. Cherelle Parker (D), and Bobby T. Curry (I). Parker and Strickland ran unopposed for their party nominations in the May primary.
Strickland, a long-time West Oak Lane resident, oversees client relations for an emergency-medical travel-assistance company. He’s also the Republican leader for the 10th ward, and ran a campaign for Republican congressional candidate Armond James.
Parker’s political resume is a bit heftier, as she currently represents the 200th legislative district in the PA House of Representatives. She assumed office through a special election in 2005 and became the youngest African American woman to hold a seat in the PA House.
Little is known about Curry, who to our knowledge does not have a readily accessible campaign team.
With registered Democrats outnumbering registered Republicans eight-to-one, Parker is the likely candidate for the seat. Even though voter turnout in the May primary election was dismal — just 27 percent of registered Dems bothered to show up to the polls — the odds are in her favor.
But the 8th and 9th Council districts are known for their wealth of “supervoters.” Wards in these districts showed some of the highest turnouts in the city: 39 percent in Mount Airy (Ward 22); 39 in Cedarbrook (Ward 50); and 35 in Chestnut Hill (Ward 9).
Remember, you can only vote in district council elections if you are registered in that district. So if you don't live in the 8th or the 9th, this doesn't apply to you. But it doesn't hurt to know who will be representing the city's residents at the upper reaches of government.