The candidates are set for the Aug. 11 special election in the 174th Legislative District.
The race will be between Democrat Ed Neilson and Republican Tim Dailey.
The seat became vacant when Democrat John Sabatina Jr. was sworn into the Senate.
Neilson resigned from City Council on Friday. He was defeated in the primary and would have been leaving office anyway at the end of the year.
Neilson, of Millbrook, formerly served in the House of Representatives, winning a special election in the 169th district in 2012. In redistricting, the 169th was moved to York County, and Neilson’s neighborhood was placed in the 174th.
In 2014, Councilman Bill Green resigned his at-large seat. Democratic Party boss Bob Brady, wanting to avoid a nasty primary between Neilson and Sabatina, selected Neilson as the candidate to run to replace Green.
Last Thursday, in his final Council session, Neilson voted against a bill to raise property taxes 4.5 percent to help fund the School District of Philadelphia. Ten of his fellow Democrats voted for the tax increase, which passed.
“I strongly support our public school system, but I could not in good conscience heap additional tax burdens on our homeowners when we are not collecting the taxes already owed to us and have not cut back on the overspending in the budget,” Neilson said. “These are people who have stood by the city through some tough years. They need a break, not higher tax bills. The rationale for the tax increase — to help our beleaguered school district — is noble, but it makes no sense to me to aid the district at the expense of Philadelphia homeowners. This was my last day as city councilman, and I wasn’t about to change my principles now. We can’t continuously tax our citizens to fix every problem.”
Dailey, of Rhawnhurst, is a teacher at Father Judge High School. He is a graduate of Maternity BVM, Archbishop Ryan and Holy Family University. He and his wife Helene have two daughters. Karen, 19, is a 2014 St. Hubert graduate and a pre-law major at Philadelphia University. Erin, 15, is a sophomore at St. Hubert.
“Tim Dailey understands the sufferings that families in our neighborhoods go through, from putting children through Catholic school to balancing life as a loving husband and working full time in the process. He also understands education better than anyone, having taught high school for two decades,” said state Rep. John Taylor.
Republican ward leaders chose Dailey last Thursday over Ross Feinberg, who is running for register of wills.
“Tim believes that a strong commitment to community, education and family are keystones to government, and the people of the 174th district can count on Tim to represent the common man in the commonwealth,” Taylor said.
Republicans hold a commanding 118–80 advantage in the House.
Sabatina’s two former House offices remain open. They are at 8100 Castor Ave. (215–342–6204) and 16 Old Ashton Road (215–330–3714).
On Aug. 11, there will also be special elections for the 191st and 195th districts.
Democrats Ron Waters (191st) and Michelle Brownlee (195th) resigned after pleading guilty to a charge of conflict of interest, after they were allegedly caught on tape accepting money in return for favors.
Republicans chose Charles Wilkins in the 191st. He is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq.
At present, Taylor and Martina White are the only House Republicans whose districts are entirely within Philadelphia. Republican Tom Murt’s district includes a portion of Bustleton.
“We need more people like Tim and Charles to run for elected office; they are the type of people that know the issues in the commonwealth, and I look forward to doubling our Philadelphia delegation in the majority caucus of the PA state House,” Taylor said.
Helen Gym, a Democratic candidate for an at-large City Council seat, said she’s happy that Council last week passed $70 million in tax increases for the School District of Philadelphia, but hopes the state picks up the remaining $35 million to balance the district’s budget.
“I urge members of Council to stand side by side with advocates in the state capital. We have a unique opportunity to win a fair funding formula that takes into consideration factors such as deep poverty — a critically important step to help rebuild education in our city and statewide. We need to work with our Philadelphia delegation to build unity around an equity agenda that restores services and essential personnel back to our schools. It is critically important that our legislative efforts focus on what our classrooms will look like in September. It does not matter if the city delivers $70 million if our schools lack vital and necessary services such as nurses, counselors and manageable class sizes.”
Council raised the use and occupancy tax, along with the off-street parking. Also passed, by a 10–5 vote, was a 4.5-percent property tax increase.
Those voting for the property tax increase were Democrats Mark Squilla, Kenyatta Johnson, Curtis Jones, Darrell Clarke, Bobby Henon, Maria Quinones Sanchez, Cindy Bass, Bill Greenlee, Wilson Goode Jr. and Blondell Reynolds Brown.
Those voting against the property tax increase were Republicans Brian O’Neill, Denny O’Brien and David Oh and Democrats Jannie Blackwell and Ed Neilson.
After passing the tax increases and other measures, Council adjourned for its annual three-month summer recess.
State Sen. John Rafferty, a Republican, last week announced his campaign for Pennsylvania attorney general at the Pennsylvania State Troopers headquarters in Harrisburg.
The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police and the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association announced their endorsement of Rafferty.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Republican National Committeeman Bob Asher are serving as honorary co-chairmen of the campaign.
ldquo;I have three priorities. Keeping Pennsylvanians safe, protecting their tax dollars and fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves,” Rafferty said.
Rafferty represents the residents of Pennsylvania’s 44th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, has had an extremely rocky term in office.
A state grand jury in Montgomery County last year recommended that Kane be charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly leaking grand jury information to retaliate against a critic. No charges have yet been filed, and the case was referred to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who is reviewing the matter.
Another grand jury recommended corruption charges against six black Philadelphia Democratic elected officials.
Kane never filed charges, suggesting that the investigation was racist, the confidential informant was not credible and the subjects of the investigation were entrapped.
Instead, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams filed charges.
So far, there have been guilty pleas by former state Reps. Ron Waters, Michelle Brownlee and Harold James and former Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes.
State Reps. Vanessa Brown Lowery and Louise Williams Bishop are expected to go to trial.
Last week’s Northeast Republican Leadership Conference attracted more than 600 party leaders and activists from over 20 states to the Sheraton hotel in Center City.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker easily won a presidential straw poll with 25.3 percent. He was followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (11.6 percent) and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (11.0 percent).
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush each received 9.6 percent. ••