New faces headed to City Council, Supreme Court

The biggest election on Nov. 2 — that of former Councilman Jim Kenney to mayor of Philadelphia — was a foregone conclusion after he won the Democratic nomination in May.

But there were a few surprises inother elections of political seats that could collectively control more political power.

Related link:Philly voters speak out

The race for the two minority party City Council-at-Large seats was watched for anupset by independent candidate Andrew Stober, the former chief of staff under Mayor Nutter of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities,who ran to knock out one of the two Republicans holding those seats — Dennis O’Brien and David Oh.

That side of the at-large raceended with a close race between David Oh with 3.81 percent of the vote staying in office,Al Taubenberger at 3.81 percent winning his seat, and O’Brien coming in third place at 3.76, losing his place on Council.

Related link:What will Kenney’s term look like?

Stober came in sixth among minority party candidates with 1.79 percent of the vote, behind the five Republican candidates, which also included Terry Tracy and Daniel Tinney.

“We had a really good run at it,” Stober said Wednesday. “Change is something that takes time.”

Stober cited the 32,000 votes he collected along with Independent candidate Sheila Armstrong andGreen candidate Kristin Combs as proof of support for third-party candidates.

“From my perspective, yesterday Philadelphia voters made history,” Stober said. “What we saw was Philadelphians are hungry forcouncil members who are committed toprogressiveidealswithoutbegincommitted to a political machine. … Therewere peoplewho understood it and people who were attempting to break their traditional party mold. We just didn’t get quite enough of them.”

As for Stober’s next move, he has no clue, he said.

Meanwhile, newcomers Derek Green, education activist Helen Gym, and real estate mogul Alan Dombwon seats on the City Council.

“Voters demanded a City Council that focused on public education and a growing, sustainable economy for all Philadelphians, especially our most vulnerable,” Gym said in a statement. “Our work has only just begun.”

In the state Supreme Court, Democrats took control.

All three open seats went to Democrats —Christine Donohue, David Wecht, and Kevin Dougherty.

That makes the Supreme Court now made up of five Democratic judges and two Republican judges.

The three candidates for City Commissioners — who are in charge of city elections — incumbent Democrat Anthony Clark, Democrat Lisa Deeley, and Republican Al Schmidt, were all elected, which was a fait accompli, as only three seats were open for election.

Lastly, Christopher Sawyer, the blogger behind, earned 40,000 votes in his campaign as a Republican candidate to unseat Sheriff Jewell Williams.

“It bites that I did not win. It meansSheriffJewell Williamswill relax and think that for the next four years nobody will bother him and his office can continue treating people like s—,” Sawyer wrote on his blog.

But 40,000 votes is still a pretty huge accomplishment.

I attracted the most votes of any Republican running in Philadelphia, including the headliners and the contestants in the City Council At-Large race,” he wrote. “Believe me, they noticed.”

Sawyer did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether he would pursue any other political office.

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