PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Despite dismal turnout in today’s primary, Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter was expected to easily beat his outspoken rival, Milton Street.

The mayor’s opponent may be viewed by some as a distraction, but Street, who announced for mayor not long after serving prison time on tax crimes (related story), has been campaigning in poorer neighborhoods, complaining about the lack of jobs in the city and Nutter’s stop-and-frisk policy (related story).

“Too often, people are treated as if they don’t count,” Street says.

The “Nutter for Mayor” campaign’s literature says Philadelphia “deserves better than a tax deadbeat like Milton Street.”  The mayor wants to count on new blood coming into City Council, as well as some of his former colleagues.  He hopes that they will help move forward, rather than block, his second-term agenda.

And some new faces are guaranteed on Philadelphia City Council, which is about to see its biggest shakeup in 20 years. That’s because five of its 17 members are not seeking re-election (related story).

And there’s an overabundance of candidates for several of the ten Council District seats — as many as four in one race and seven in another — along with 14 Democratic candidates and nine Republican candidates for five at-large City Council seats.

The absence of a big race and the rain conspired to dampen turnout. Most predictions were that it would come it well under 20 percent.  The Committee of 70, the political watchdog group, said earlier today it was going with a 13-percent figure (related story).   That compares to the 2008 presidential primary, when 55 percent of registered Democrats in Philadelphia showed up, as Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton.

In the 2007 primary for mayor, in which there were five candidates, 39 percent of those eligible to vote showed up at the polls, and chose Michael Nutter.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060

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