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PA State Rep. Mike Driscoll.
Rep. Mike Driscoll has served in Harrisburg since 2015. Photo: Office of PA Rep. Mike Driscoll

PA State Rep. Mike Driscoll selected by Dems to compete for Bobby Henon’s seat on City Council

Driscoll has been the leading candidate in headlines and party circles since Henon’s resignation on Jan. 20.

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In a move that has surprised no one. Democratic ward leaders in Philadelphia’s sixth councilmanic district have selected Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Driscoll as the party’s candidate in the upcoming special election to fill the seat on City Council vacated by the now-convicted Bobby Henon.

Henon resigned from his post the morning before Philly City Council met for the first time in 2022, on Jan. 20. It was a reverse of course, after he had initially said he would hold onto his seat until he was sentenced, as he was legally allowed to do. Henon is set to be sentenced on Feb. 22.

In the event of special elections to fill seats on City Council, it is a party’s ward leaders that select the candidates to compete for the spot. The Republican ward leaders in District 6, which encompasses parts of Northeast Philadelphia including Bridesburg, Tacony, Holmesburg, and Torresdale, have yet to select a competitor to face Driscoll.

Council President Darrell Clarke, who per the city charter must set a date for the special election, also has yet to do so.

Per reporting from the Northeast Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer, Driscoll wasn’t present as the eight ward leaders — including Henon — selected him as the candidate in a celebratory meeting at the Ashburner Inn in Holmesburg.

“It was a lovefest,” ward leader and former City Controller Alan Butkovitz told the Inquirer.

Driscoll had previously said it would be an honor to be considered for the spot on Philadelphia City Council.

He has been a member of the Pennsylvania State House since 2015, repping District 173 after winning his only contested general election in 2014 against Republican challenger Michael Tomlinson. 

Driscoll has kept his spot in Harrisburg since, running unopposed as the incumbent in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

Despite facing competition in the upcoming special election for District 6, Driscoll is still expected to handily win, as Henon won reelection with 60% of the vote in 2019 after his charges in the Johnny Doc case became public.

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