By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A GOP ward leader in Philadelphia says he is ready to run against the Democrats’ pick in the May special election for an at-large City Council seat.

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Earlier this week the Democratic ward leaders selected state representative Ed Neilson to run as their candidate in the May 20th special election to fill the vacant City Council seat (see related story).

The Republian ward leaders will formally pick their party representative on March 19th.  At a formal announcement this afternoon in University City, GOP ward leader Matthew Wolfe said he’s ready to run if he gets his party’s nomination — which is expected.

“We need to support the changes to strengthen Philadelphia, now and for our children,” he said.  “I’ll bring a different perspective to City Council.   I need your support.”

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Pennsylvania state representative John Taylor, chairman of the Republican Party in Philadelphia, sees Wolfe’s nomination as likely.

“Matt has a lot of respect within the party and I think he will prevail.  I don’t expect any conflict with that,” Taylor told KYW Newsradio this afternoon.

The City Coucil at-large seat became vacant when Bill Green left to chair Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission (see related story).

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