City Councilman Brian O’Neill appears to have won an 11th four-year term on Tuesday night, leading challenger Judy Moore with 58 percent of the vote.
In other key races, Mayor Jim Kenney defeated Republican Billy Ciancaglini, a lawyer from South Philadelphia, with 81 percent of the vote, according to philadelphiavotes.com. Ciancaglini did very well in several Northeast wards.
Councilman Bobby Henon (D-6th dist.) was leading Republican Pete Smith, former president of the Tacony Civic Association, with 60 percent of the vote, according to philadelphiavotes.com. That’s a closer race than some expected.
In the 17-candidate race for seven at-large Council seats, the five Democrats – Helen Gym, Allan Domb, Isaiah Thomas, Derek Green and Katherine Gilmore Richardson – won, as expected. In the race for the other two seats, the leaders were the Working Families Party’s Kendra Brooks and Republican Councilman s David Oh, though many votes remain to be counted. They were trailed by the WFP’s Nicolas O’Rourke; Republicans Al Taubenberger, Dan Tinney, Bill Heeney and Matt Wolfe; A Better Council’s Sherrie Cohen; independent Joe Cox; Libertarian Maj Toure; Term Limits Philadelphia’s Steve Cherniavsky; and independent Clarc King.
O’Neill watched the returns at Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5.
At about 11 p.m., FOP president John McNesby addressed the crowd.
“Brian’s up by about 2,500 votes,” he said. “I think he’s going to be fine. It’s going to be a tremendous win.”
O’Neill followed him at the podium. He recalls beating Democratic Councilman Melvin Greenberg in 1979, though Channel 6 prematurely called the race for the incumbent.
In all, there was 55 percent of the vote in.
“We have to wait,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill appeared to have won the 63rd Ward by 767 votes. The 56th Ward was close. The councilman said he was “doing extremely well” in the 66th Ward. There were also votes to be counted in the 58th.
“I’ll never be able to thank the FOP enough,” he said.
O’Neill said it was “embarrassing” that the city commissioners office was taking so long to count the votes off the new machines. He called it an “information highway disaster.”
A cautiously optimistic O’Neill was waiting for a call from Moore.
“The trend is where we all want it to be,” he said.
Moore, a 66th Ward Democratic committeewoman and Garces Events executive, addressed supporters at Plumbers Union Local 690 shortly after 10:30 p.m.
Moore said about 6,000 of an expected 22,000 votes were counted.
“We’re down by a tiny bit,” she said. “Keep the faith.. Sixteen-thousand votes are a lot to count.”
Moore thanked the carpenters, firefighters, SEIU and plumbers unions, among others.
“I can’t even begin to express my gratitude,” she said.
Council Democrats placed the heavily Democratic 56th Ward into the 10th district during redistricting following the 2011 elections, when O’Neill beat Bill Rubin with 59 percent of the vote.
O’Neill was unopposed in the 2015 election, so this was the first time he faced re-election in the new boundaries.
In other results:
- In the race for two seats on state Superior Court, the Democrats Amanda Green-Hawkins and Dan McCaffery (of East Torresdale) were facing off with Republicans Megan McCarthy King and Christylee Peck. With about 70 percent counted, King was leading, followed by McCaffery, Green-Hawkins and Peck.
- Seven Democrats ran for seven seats on the Court of Common Pleas. They were Jennifer Schultz, Anthony Kyriakakis, Joshua Roberts, Tiffany Palmer, James Crumlish, Carmella Jacquinto and Crystal Powell.
- Democrat David Conroy was unopposed for a seat on Municipal Court.
- Democrats Lisa Deeley and Omar Sabir and Republican Al Schmidt were the only candidates for three seats on the city election commission.
- Democrat Tracey Gordon was the only candidate for register of wills.
- Democrat Rochelle Bilal was the only candidate for sheriff.
- Councilwomen Maria Quinones Sanchez (D-7th dist.) and Cherelle Parker (D-9th dist.) were unopposed.
- The following judges won retention: Superior Court’s Anne Lazarus and Judy Olson; Commonwealth Court’s Kevin Brobson and Patricia McCullough; the Court of Common Pleas’ Daniel Anders, Robert Coleman, Richard Gordon, Karen Shreeves-Johns, Donna Woelpper, Ida Chen, Roxanne Covington, Glynnis Hill, Diane Thompson and Sheila Woods-Skipper; and Municipal Court’s Martin Coleman, Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde, Henry Lewandowski, Wendy Lynn Pew and Fran Shields.
- Pennsylvania voters cast ballots on a proposed constitutional amendment on crime victim rights. However, after a challenge to the constitutionality of the law, courts ruled that the votes would not count. With 70 percent of the vote counted, about 74 percent were in favor.
- Philadelphia voters approved a proposed charter change question regarding city procurement procedures and a bond question calling for $185 million in borrowing. ••