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Some City Council Races Wrap Quickly; Not So, At-Large GOP Seat

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(Philadelphia City Hall.  File photo by Tony Hanson)

(Philadelphia City Hall. File photo by Tony Hanson)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In Philadelphia, where Democratic registrations outpace Republicans by a 6-1 margin, several City Council races wrapped up quickly on Election Night.  But one of two at-large seats reserved for the minority party became an Election Night high drama.

First, the expected results…

Mark Squilla, running unopposed, will succeed councilman Frank DiCicco in the 1st District.  DiCicco cancelled his re-election plans after becoming embroiled in the DROP controversy.

Pennsylvania state representative Kenyatta Johnson, the Democrat, was leading Republican challenger Ivan Cohen by a 3-1 margin to take the 2nd District seat of Anna Verna, who is also City Council president.  Verna was also undone by the DROP controversy.

Incumbent councilwoman Jannie Blackwell took an early, commanding lead in her effort to win another term representing the 3rd District, taking about 90 percent of the votes cast.  Her opponent was Alicia Burbage, running as an independent.

In the 4th, 5th, 7th, and 9th Districts, councilmen Curtis Jones and Darrell Clarke and councilwomen Maria Quiñones-Sanchez and Marian Tasco were running for re-election unopposed.

In the 6th District, where councilwoman Joan Krajewski is retiring, Bobby Henon held an early, strong lead over GOP opponent Sandra Stewart to end with a 4-1 margin of victory.

Democrat Cindy Bass was trouncing Green Party candidate Brian Rudnick by a 5-1 margin to replace Donna Miller, who is retiring, in the 8th District.

Perhaps the hardest-fought district race was in the 10th District, where Republican incumbent Brian O’Neill was fighting for a tenth term.  By the time the counting ended, O’Neill was holding a 19-point lead (about 4,000 votes) over Democratic challenger Bill Rubin, a onetime city worker.

Now, the squeaker…

Five at-large Council seats were also being decided, and all five incumbent Democrats were running for re-election.  Two additional at-large seats are guaranteed to minority candidates, and one of those seats was extremely closely fought.

State representative Denny O’Brien topped the list of GOP at-large candidates, but fellow Republicans David Oh and Al Taubenberger were within a few hundred votes of each other for the second seat, with Oh taking a razor-thin lead as the counting passed the 95-percent mark.

At 11pm, Taubenberger told KYW’s Pat Loeb that the race seemed too close to call and he didn’t expect a resolution tonight.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060  and Ed Fischer, CBS Philly

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