Ex-judge sets his sights on Brady’s congressional seat

The new boundary lines won’t be known for months, but former Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, beginning the process of running in the 1st Congressional District.

Moore, a Democrat, would challenge Rep. Bob Brady in the April 2012 Democratic primary.

The Republican-controlled state legislature will draw the boundaries for the state’s 18 congressional districts, one fewer than the last decade. That’s because, while Pennsylvania gained population in the last 10 years, the growth was at a slower rate than the rest of the nation.

Right now, the 1st Congressional District includes portions of Delaware County and city neighborhoods such as South and Southwest Philadelphia, Kensington, Frankford and Castor Gardens.

Moore, who’ll formally announce his candidacy next month, has a master’s degree in urban education and a law degree from Rutgers University. He served as a judge for the last 12 years.

If elected, he will try to develop environmentally friendly, sustainable jobs. He fashions himself, in a way, after President Barack Obama.

“Over the coming weeks, I will continue to build my team and travel around the district, talking to residents about the issues they find most pressing, and in July, I will formally announce my campaign for Congress to bring the change that our district desperately needs,” he said.

“Washington is out of touch with what’s happening to our families and communities. Special interests have more power than the people. Just like a young community organizer from Chicago, I have hope, a vision and a belief in giving back and helping others.”

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Al Taubenberger, a Republican candidate for an at-large City Council seat, is glad that Council rejected Mayor Michael Nutter’s call to raise the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

“This soda tax is a pitiful effort to squeeze a few more dollars from hard-working Philadelphians in order to cover the fiscal mismanagement of the city’s government and the Philadelphia school district,” he said.

The revenue from the proposed tax of 2 cents per ounce on a beverage would have been directed to the School District of Philadelphia.

Taubenberger, president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, said the tax would have hurt bottling plants and corner grocery stores. He suggested that people who live near the city limits or work in surrounding counties would do their grocery shopping outside Philadelphia.

While Council declined to pass the sugar tax, it is expected this week to pass a package that includes higher real estate taxes.

The 10-person at-large race features the five Democratic incumbents and Republican challengers Taubenberger, David Oh, Dennis O’Brien, Joe McColgan and Michael Untermeyer.

The top seven are elected in the fall. Two seats are reserved for the minority party, which for 60 years has been the Republicans. The five Democrats are shoo-ins because of their party’s huge voter-registration advantage.

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McColgan, meanwhile, is also opposed to plans to raise taxes.

“More taxes will never solve a problem that is systemic and needs an overhaul, not a bailout,” he said.

McColgan wants to eliminate the School Reform Commission and fire Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman. He believes in the axiom, “Never throw good money after bad.”

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Richie Antipuna, a Kensington resident who hosts a cable television show, will run for city elections commissioner as a member of the Green Party.

“I honestly want to run for city commissioner to show other regular people that anyone can run against the corrupt Democrats who control this city,” he said. “I remember when politicians walked around the neighborhood — even when it wasn’t election time. That’s the kind of commissioner I plan to be.”

The general election will also feature Democrats Stephanie Singer and Anthony Clark and Republicans Al Schmidt and Joe Duda. Singer ousted nine-term incumbent Marge Tartaglione in the primary. Clark is an obscure, one-term incumbent.

Schmidt, who was not endorsed by the party in the primary, finished a close second to incumbent Duda and well ahead of party-endorsed Marie Delany.

The top three finishers in November are elected.

Another Green Party candidate is Cheri Honkala, the longtime housing activist running for sheriff. She’s in a three-way race with Democrat Jewell Williams and Republican Joshua West. She’s running on a platform of ending foreclosure-caused evictions until the economy improves. ••

Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215–354–3034 or twaring@bsmphilly.com