Philadelphia’s Democratic Party Boss Sees Vigorous Fight For Green’s Council Seat
By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With news that Philadelphia city councilman Bill Green is being appointed to head the School Reform Commission (see related story), US Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) says his phone is already ringing off the hook with people wanting to succeed Green on City Council.
Green would have to step down from his at-large Council seat if he’s confirmed as SRC chairman.
Congressman Brady, who heads Philadelphia’s Democratic party, says a line has already formed of people vying for Green’s seat.
“My phone is blowing up already from candidates that want to run for it,” Brady told KYW Newsradio this morning. “So it will be another little fight that we go through.”
For a special election, Democratic and Republican ward leaders would choose their party’s nominee. And in this heavily Democratic city, whoever ends up as the Democratic nominee would be heavily favored to win.
That’s why Brady, who has run the party for many years, is swamped with calls.
“There will be a ton of candidates that will want to run. So you always gotta pick out who you like better: your mother, your father, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle,” Brady said.
City Council president Darrell Clarke — who has final say on whether a special election is held, says any decision on that is premature:
“At this point we don’t have a vacancy. So we’ll let the whole nomination/confirmation process play out. Then we’ll talk with the (Council) members to determine what the next steps are.”
Since Green’s post is one of seven at-large seats on Council, and thus does not represent a geographic district, Clarke could opt to leave the seat unfilled for the remaining two years of Green’s term.
Brady, for his part, is fine either way:
“That (two years) is a long time. But again, that’s up to him. And if he asks me my opinion, I would say ‘Council President, that’s your decision, and whatever you do I will abide by it.’ “
But does he have a preference?
The last special election to fill vacancies on City Council came in 2006, when then-Council president Anna Verna was called on to fill three openings: two district seats and one at-large. All three were won by the nominees chosen by the Democratic ward leaders at the time.