By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Democratic ward leaders voted behind closed glass doors this afternoon to pick a nominee to run in a special election for the City Council seat recently vacated by Bill Green to become chair of the School Reform Commission (see related story).

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The Democratic nominee to run in the May 20th special election will be state representative Ed Neilson of Northeast Philadelphia.

US Rep. Bob Brady is the chairman of the City Democratic Committee and led today’s vote.

“We had a voice vote, and the voice vote was unanimous, and there were no ‘nay’ votes at all,” Brady said afterward.

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Nielson says he made the decision to run for the at-large City Council seat  after talking it over with his family.

“I’s a hard decision because we worked so hard to get the (state) House seat — to win the special election with Denny O’Brien, who left and joined Council.  We worked really hard.  I mean, I have three young boys at home. I have five  boys all together.  So this is something that will  bring me closer to home and spend more time with them as well,” Neilson said.

The Republicans will decide on their nominee to run for the City Council seat on March 19th but, because the city’s registration is tilted so heavily toward the Democrats, Neilson is seen by most observers as the likely winner.

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