PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mark Squilla (above left) appeared to be cruising to an easy victory in the Democratic primary race for the 1st District of Philadelphia City Council, a hotly contested seat being vacated by Frank DiCicco.

Squilla, DiCicco’s hand-picked successor, was garnering 41 percent of the vote in the four-way race with about 97 percent of precincts counted.  His nearest challenger, Joe Grace, had about 23 percent of the vote.  Jeff Hornstein had about 20 percent, and Vern Anastasio had about 16 percent.

In the 2nd District, where longtime Councilwoman and current City Council president Anna Verna is retiring after being caught up in the “DROP” pension blowback (see related story), Barbara Capozzi and Kenyatta Johnson were vying for the lead.  With 98 percent of precincts counted, Johnson led Capozzi by fewer than 75 votes.

In the 5th District race, incumbent councilman Darrell Clarke was heading easily toward nomination for another term.  He had about 73 percent of the vote to challenger Suzanne Carn’s 27 percent.

In the 6th District, being vacated by retiring councilwoman Joan Krajewski, Bobby Henon (at right in photo) had a nearly 2-1 lead over Martin Bednarek with about 92 percent of the vote counted.  Henon had the backing of the politically powerful Local 98 of the electricians’ union.

In the 7th District, incumbent councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez was fending off a strong challenge by Dan Savage, who once held that seat.   With 95 percent of the vote counted, Quinones-Sanchez was tallying about 60 percent of the vote to Savage’s 40 percent.

In the 8th District, where current councilwoman Donna Reed Miller is retiring, Cindy Bass was leading by an approximately 2-1 margin over her nearest challenger, Greg Paulmier, for the Democratic nomination.

Reported by Ed Fischer.

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