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Philadelphia Primaries: High Stakes, Low Turnout

(credit: KYW's Tim McLaughlin)

(credit: KYW’s Tim McLaughlin)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The race for mayor in Philadelphia is seen as a referendum on Michael Nutter’s first term. However, the damp weather could further dampen turnout. A big concern for the mayor and other candidates is that voters may not bother to show up.

While Mayor Nutter is expected to encounter few problems with former state senator and ex-federal inmate Milton Street, there are several competitive City Council races.

However, it is predicted that the turnout may be under 20 percent. That figure compares to the 2008 Presidential primary, when 55 percent of registered Democrats in Philadelphia showed up, as Barack Obama beat Hillary Rodham Clinton. In the 2007 primary for mayor, in which there were five candidates, 39 percent showed up, and chose Michael Nutter.

Two members of City Council, Jannie Blackwell and Curtis Jones, who have voter strength in West Philadelphia, are unopposed. That could cut into the African-American vote.

In the 7th District, incumbent Maria Quinones-Sanchez is challenged by Dan Savage, who has much of the Democratic machinery behind him. That could influence the Latino vote.

Also, there are two Asian-Americans in the Council at-large pot. Andy Toy is among 14 Democratic candidates. David Oh is among nine Republicans.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

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