Quetcy Lozada secures party endorsement as she ramps up her City Council campaign
Councilwoman Lozada, the temporary replacement for District 7’s Maria Quiñones Sánchez, obtained a major endorsement this week.
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Endorsement season in Philly is in full swing, and District 7 Councilwoman Quetcy Lozada is active in the field following an endorsement from the Democratic Party this week, per sources.
Lozada, whose name was tapped by ward leaders during a Special Election to fill vacancies in City Council in 2022, heads to the May Primary with party support and two challengers.
“I’m thrilled and grateful to have received the Democratic Party City Committee endorsement for the May Primary. Continuing to work in partnership with everyone across all levels of government will open up more opportunities for the residents of the 7th Council District,” Lozada wrote in a statement to AL DÍA.
Ward leaders in the district unanimously voted for a favorable endorsement, sources said.
Maria Quiñones Sánchez, Lozada’s predecessor and former boss in City Council, resigned in September 2022 to add her name to a roster of 10 mayoral candidates vying for the mayor’s office, and Lozada rose to lead the district.
A week after Quiñones Sánchez tendered her resignation, AL DÍA reported that Lozada sat down with ward leaders, who ushered her unopposed into the November swearing-in ceremony.
In January 2023, Lozada told AL DÍA she’d been ramping up her campaign, feeling confident about her prospects.
She faces two opponents in the race for District 7, a region struck with tragedy borne of high instances of gun violence and a relentless opioid crisis fueled by open-air drug markets.
Mo Santana, a combat veteran and Kensington resident, was first to throw his name in the ring in late January, citing “poor leadership that exploited the lack of political education in this community” in his announcement speech.
Running just behind Santana is Andrés Celín, a Trauma Trainer Supervisor and former Helen Gym staffer, who announced his campaign last week in a Vietnamese café in Kensington.
Celín, “tired of leaders pretending like everything is okay,” hopes to unseat Lozada in May and best Santana in the primary. Although he is the latest newcomer, Celín’s campaign is in full throttle, most recently seen at Taller Puertorriqueño after his announcement.
Former State Representative Ángel Cruz, a two-decade incumbent, was also rumored to run, according to District 7 insiders, but since Lozada’s endorsement, not as much is known about his next steps.
When State Rep. José Giral formally “opened” his district office, Cruz told AL DÍA of arising health issues that made him question if he could weather another political race. Cruz has not responded to requests for comment.
The endorsement signals parallels in leadership
Lozada’s endorsement is an early sign of how she will define relationships within her party, and it is also a sharp contrast to her predecessor’s.
Quiñones Sánchez navigated years of difficult relationships with Philly Democrats, and it is well-known. In a recent interview hosted by the Philadelphia Citizen, Quiñones Sánchez said she was “okay with [the Democratic Party] not liking me.”
Still, with the full backing of District 7 voters, Quiñones Sánchez had all but assured victories against challengers that arose over the years, including Cruz, who ran against her unsuccessfully in 2019.