The Republican Party of Philadelphia on Sunday held its annual clambake at Cannstatter’s, and a general theme emerged among speakers.
GOP candidates expressed support for police officers and opposition to sanctuary cities, safe injection sites, the beverage tax, Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Mayoral candidate Billy Ciancaglini senses an anti-police sentiment in some corners.
“That is going to stop on Nov. 6, the day after I win this election,” he said.
Matt Wolfe, a Republican candidate for City Council at large, pointed the crowd’s attention to Beth Grossman, the GOP’s candidate against Krasner in 2017.
“We’d be a lot better off if she had been elected district attorney,” he said.
At-large Councilman Al Taubenberger called for a change in City Hall.
“We’d be a heck of a lot better with Mayor Ciancaglini,” he said.
Taubenberger and Wolfe will be joined on the GOP at-large slate by Councilman David Oh and challengers Dan Tinney and Bill Heeney. Only two of them will likely win, with the other five seats going to Democrats.
“Philadelphia would be better off if all five of these people were elected,” said party boss Mike Meehan.
Others at the clambake included Councilman Brian O’Neill; district Council candidates Pete Smith, Michael Bradley and Duke Orsino; city elections commissioner Al Schmidt; state Reps. Martina White and Tom Murt; state party boss Lawrence Tabas; Superior Court Judge Judy Olson; Megan McCarthy King and Christylee Peck, the Republican candidates for Superior Court; former state House Speaker John Perzel; former Councilman Rick Mariano; and former Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Panepinto.
There were even some Democrats in the crowd, including election commission chairwoman Lisa Deeley and state Rep. Mike Driscoll.
City Councilwoman Helen Gym endorsed Kendra Brooks for an at-large Council seat.
There are 16 people in the race: five Democrats, five Republicans and six independent and minor-party candidates. Voters choose up to five candidates. The top seven win.
Gym and the other four Democrats are expected to win easily. Brooks, of the Working Families Party, is targeting one of two seats traditionally won by Republicans.
“This is our moment to make history this November, by rejecting Trump’s party for once and for all,” Brooks said.
Gym said she is backing Brooks because of her support for public education.
“For too long, we’ve allowed minority seats on City Council to go to the party of Trump. That’s over. We have the chance to bring in a powerful community leader like Kendra, and we are going to put everything we have into her race,” she said.
Gym and Democratic state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, Chris Rabb and Malcolm Kenyatta will join Brooks at a campaign event on Tuesday in Rittenhouse Square. ••