Jim Dillon, the Democratic candidate in the 5th Senatorial District special election, last week held a fundraiser at District Council 21, 2980 Southampton Road.
The April 21 fundraiser was originally supposed to be for Shawn Dillon, but he had to drop out of the race because his campaign did not file a statement of financial interest with the state ethics commission.
Jim Dillon, his younger brother, replaced him on the ballot. Dillon, a father of two, is a grant compliance officer with the School District of Philadelphia and runs the Hoops 24-7 basketball academy.
Among those in attendance at the fundraiser were party chairman Bob Brady, state Sens. Tina Tartaglione, Sharif Street and Steve Santarsiero, state Rep. Joe Hohenstein, City Councilwoman Katherine Gilmore Richardson, city elections commissioner Lisa Deeley, former Sheriff Barbara Deeley, former Councilman Bobby Henon, former Republican state House Speaker John Perzel, former City Controller Alan Butkovitz and District Council 21 union leader Joe Ashdale.
Dillon faces Republican Sam Oropeza in the May 17 election.
The seat has been vacant since John Sabatina Jr. resigned at the beginning of the year to become a Common Pleas Court judge.
Oropeza, meanwhile, has been endorsed by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 37.
“Addressing the crisis of crime in Philadelphia is my top priority. I will stand with law enforcement and against the failed Krasner-Kenney policies that are putting us in danger,” he said. “To have the support of the men and women of law enforcement who put themselves in harm’s way every day is both humbling, and sends a strong message to the people of the 5th District who will stand with them in taking back our streets.”
Oropeza’s plan for addressing crime focuses on four areas: bringing law enforcement and community members together to build trust and a working relationship in fighting neighborhood crime; providing the resource support law enforcement needs to perform its duties; pushing for the strong prosecution of criminals, especially those who use guns; and providing opportunities and alternatives for those who believe turning to crime is the only answer to the challenges they face.
Oropeza is the founder of Rescuing Streets through Clean-Ups (RSCU), which works with residents, the city and local civic groups to clean up neighborhood streets and fight illegal dumping.
Ralph E. Lett, the Democratic leader in the 53rd Ward, invites the community to take part in a cleanup on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Levick Street, from Algon Avenue to Loretto Avenue. Lett will be joined by Anthony Bellmon, a Democratic candidate in the 203rd Legislative District, and committee people Frances Bass, Monica Huff, Delores Melendez, Judy Greenberg and Renee Greenberg.
Meanwhile, Lett welcomes people to meet Bellmon on Sunday, May 1, from 3-5 p.m. at St. Thomas Orthodox Church, 1009 Unruh Ave.
Bellmon is the endorsed candidate, with the backing of the 53rd and 61st wards. There are two other candidates, Yusuf Jackson and Heather Miller, who has the support of the 35th Ward.
As for Miller, she is inviting residents of the 203rd Legislative District to a series of free self-defense classes, with black belt instructor Julio Rosario, of Semper Fi MMA. The classes will go from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at local recreation centers. The schedule is April 27 at Jardel, 1400 Cottman Ave.; April 28 at Tarken, 6250 Frontenac St.; and May 13 at Lawncrest, 6000 Rising Sun Ave. Reserve a spot by calling her campaign office at 215-645-2589 or emailing HeatherMiller203rd@gmail.com. ••