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Pictured: District 7 nominee Quetcy Lozada. Photo: Nigel Thompson / AL DÍA News
Lozada worked behind the scened to garner the support of a group of ward leaders who endorsed her during an evening session. Photo: Nigel Thompson / AL DÍA News

Philadelphia ward leaders pick Quetcy Lozada as the nominee for Council District 7

In a closed-door session, Lozada convened the support of the group that will carry her to the special elections to fill María Quiñones-Sánchez’s vacancy.

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In a special meeting carried out by Philly’s ward leaders from District 7 last night to seek out a nominee, Quetcy Lozada, an endorsed candidate of former Councilmember María Quiñones-Sánchez, walked out of the session having secured the group’s nomination in advance of the November special elections to fill the District 7 empty Council seat. 

“I’m grateful for the support that the ward leaders for the 7th Council District showed me this evening (...) I’m super excited right now,” Lozada said after she was privy to the ward’s decision. 

The endorsement follows a directive by Council President Darrell Clarke, who ordered a special election in November to fill the vacant seats left by District 7 and District 9, helmed by María Quiñones-Sánchez and Cherelle Parker respectively. Both are ramping up campaigning efforts to replace term-limited Jim Kenney in the 2023 mayoral election. 

Clarke’s writ did not apply to former Councilmembers Allan Domb and Derek Green, who both also resigned from their at-large Council seats. Domb has not yet made any official campaign announcements, but was the official on City Council who resigned first.

In the first week of September, longtime PA State Representative Ángel Cruz told AL DÍA he would not run for reelection as a House Representative and would seek out a nomination to replace Quiñones-Sánchez after he got wind of her resignation. Historically, Cruz had been unsuccessful in past elections and was twice defeated by the former Councilwoman.

But the special elections gave Cruz some leeway to work through the ward leader’s nominations ahead of November. Sources close to the matter then alleged the district was locked, but there was no indication of which candidate had the advantage. 

“I believe I’m the best candidate,” noted the state rep. “I’ve put in the work before I was a representative, I did it as a representative,” said Cruz, while adding that his standing set him apart from his running mates. 

Lozada, in turn, was announced in a small gathering at The Tattooed Mom by Quiñones-Sánchez, who tuned in remotely.  

“I didn’t expect for her to jump out as quickly as she did, and me having to jump in as quickly as I did, but it happened, and it’s a part of the process,” Lozada told AL DÍA of Quiñones-Sánchez’s endorsement. That didn’t deter Lozada from working behind the scenes to secure an indispensable nomination from ward heads, and doing so successfully. 

Lozada currently runs unopposed in the special election but will need to compete for the seat in May of 2023, during the primary ahead of the regular Council elections. Cruz, who was not present at the ward leader convening, has not responded if he plans to vie for the City Council seat in 2023.

“I learned from [María Quiñones-Sánchez], that the district needed to have a voice (...) I learned that she did what she thought was best at the time for the residents of the District,” said Lozada, and although it's her first electoral rodeo, Lozada spent 13 years as Chief of Staff for Quiñones-Sánchez. 

Being her mentee may have served as the primary advantage, since Quiñones-Sánchez ran successfully for 14 years, leaving a solid legacy of support from the 7th District constituency. 

Cruz also told AL DÍA he wouldn’t be a “throwing-stones” candidate, alluding to his known rocky relationship with the former Councilwoman, but Lozada says her time under Quiñones-Sánchez is what equips her to lead successfully. 

“When you work with ward leaders directly, when you work with Congressmen and the folks of the party structure, you're able to resolve things much quicker, and I’ve seen that myself,” Lozada added.

Lozada is confident her time under Quiñones-Sánchez was the necessary experience needed to work across the aisle. 

“The political environment is dominated by men, but I believe I’ve learned from people like María, and other women in City Council,” she continued. 

AL DÍA has reached out to Cruz for comment but has not received a response. 

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