Voters to head to the polls next Tuesday

Philadelphians will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 21, to nominate candidates for various city offices and statewide judicial seats.

Three Democrats and three Republicans are each running for two seats on Superior Court.

The Democratic candidates are Allegheny County attorneys Beth Tarasi and Amanda Green-Hawkins and Dan McCaffery, a Common Pleas Court judge who lives in East Torresdale. The party-endorsed candidates are McCaffery and Green-Hawkins.

Dan McCaffery

The Republican candidates are former Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren, Chester County Deputy District Attorney Megan McCarthy King and Cumberland County Common Pleas Court Judge Christylee Peck. The party-backed candidates are King and Peck.


Democratic voters will nominate six candidates for Common Pleas Court among a field of 25 candidates. No candidate lives in the Northeast. Beth Grossman, the 2017 Republican candidate for district attorney, is the only GOP candidate. She is also running on the Democratic ticket.

Democrats with party backing are Joshua Roberts, Sherman Toppin, Cateria McCabe, Anthony Kyriakakis, Carmella Jaquinto and Henry Sias.


Democrats will nominate one candidate for Municipal Court. David Conroy has party backing against Theresa Brunson. There is no Republican candidate.


In the mayoral race, Mayor Jim Kenney is being challenged in the Democratic primary by state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and former City Controller Alan Butkovitz, a Castor Gardens resident.

Republican Billy Ciancaglini, a South Philadelphia lawyer, is unopposed in the primary.


There are 13 Democrats running for two nominations for city election commissioner. Commissioner Chairwoman Lisa Deeley is running with the backing of the Democratic City Committee. Omar Sabir also has party backing.

Commissioner Al Schmidt is the only Republican candidate, guaranteeing victory in the general election, unless an independent or minor-party candidate joins the race.


Incumbent Register of Wills Ron Donatucci has two opponents in the Democratic primary: Tracey Gordon and Jacque Whaumbush.

There is no Republican candidate.


Sheriff Jewell Williams has three opponents in the Democratic primary: former deputy sheriffs Malika Rahman and Larry King and longtime Guardian Civic League president Rochelle Bilal. The party did not endorse a candidate in the race.

There is no Republican candidate.


Democrats and Republicans will each nominate five candidates for City Council at large. The top seven finishers in November are elected.

The Democratic field includes incumbents Allan Domb, Derek Green and Helen Gym. The party has endorsed them, along with Isaiah Thomas and Katherine Gilmore Richardson.

Northeast residents running are Fox Chase ironworker Vinny Black; Black Lives Matter leader Asa Khalif, of Frankford; Joseph Diorio, a Lawndale resident and Cardinal Dougherty High School graduate who has served on the Northeast Community Center for Behavioral Health; Ethelind Baylor, a Northwood resident and vice president of AFSCME District Council 47; and Hena Veit, a Mayfair resident who owns a forensic mitigation service.

Unendorsed challengers who are given a strong chance of winning include former deputy city managing director Eryn Santamoor and Justin DiBerardinis, a community organizer and former aide to Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez.

Other candidates are Adrian Rivera-Reyes, Deja Lynn Alvarez, Ogbonna Paul Hagins, Fernando Trevino, Billy Thompson, Beth Finn, Latrice Bryant, Erika Almiron, Bobbie Curry, Wayne Edmund Dorsey, Edwin Santana, Mark Ross, Devon Cade, Sandra Dungee Glenn, Wayne Allen and Fareed Abdullah.

The Republican City Committee has not endorsed any candidates for at-large seats. The incumbents are David Oh and Al Taubenberger, who lives in Fox Chase and seemed confident among GOP activists at a party fundraiser Monday night at Cannstatter’s.

“I’m very fortunate to have their support and I look forward to working with them again for victory,” he said.

Challengers are Dan Tinney, leader of the 66th Ward in the Far Northeast; Matt Wolfe, a ward leader and lawyer from West Philadelphia; Bill Heeney, a businessman from East Torresdale; Drew Murray a civic leader from Center City; and Irina Goldstein, a businesswoman from Bustleton.

Irina Goldstein is expecting to get a lot of votes in the 57th Ward, where Brian McCann is the Republican leader.


In district Council races, Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez (D-7th dist.) faces a primary challenge from state Rep. Angel Cruz. The district includes Castor Gardens, Northwood, Frankford, Juniata, Feltonville and Kensington. There is no Republican candidate.

Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (D-9th dist.) is unopposed in the primary and general election, and many observers expect her to run for mayor in 2023.

Councilman Bobby Henon (D-6th dist.) and Republican Pete Smith, former president of the Tacony Civic Association, are unopposed in the primary.

Councilman Brian O’Neill (R-10th dist.) and Democrat Judy Moore, a 66th Ward committeewoman and Garces Events executive, are unopposed in the primary.


Philadelphians will vote on four proposed charter changes.

The wording is below.

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to change certain gender specific references (such as “councilman,” “councilmen,” and “Councilmanic”) to gender neutral references (such as “councilmember,” “councilmembers,” and “Council”)?

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, headed by a Director of Immigrant Affairs?

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to call on the General Assembly to either increase the Pennsylvania minimum wage now, so that it reaches $15 an hour, in stages, by 2025; or allow the City of Philadelphia to itself provide for a decent, family sustaining, living wage for working Philadelphians?

Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to require the establishment of “Public Safety Enforcement Officers” to assist the Police Department in regulating the flow of traffic; to enforce and assist the appropriate City officers in the enforcement of ordinances relating to the quality of life in the City’s neighborhoods; and to perform such other related duties as the Managing Director or Council may require? ••