Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell blames 'moneyed interests' for upset in primary

Pat Loeb
May 23, 2019 - 6:01 pm
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.

Courtesy of Tom MacDonald

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell blamed her surprise defeat in the Democratic primary on "moneyed interests" that want to control the 3rd District, which she's represented for seven terms. It was Blackwell's first time commenting since Tuesday's election.

In the two days that Blackwell declined to speak to reporters, political analysts filled the void, suggesting she hadn't run a vigorous campaign and hadn't taken seriously enough the energy and appeal of Jamie Gauthier, the first serious challenger Blackwell had faced in her career. 

Blackwell rejected those explanations. She had one of her own.

"All those who had the money, the 3.0 and others, came after my district big time. It wasn't about me. It was about them taking control of my district and that's the way it happened," Blackwell said.

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3.0 is a political action committee funded by local businesses that backed Gauthier.

"I have quite an area, as you all know, I represent all the insti-, not all of them, but I do have Penn, Drexel, Brandywine, University of the Sciences, Cira Center, Science Center, Wharton, you name it. And they decided it was time that they took it over and that's how it happened," she said. 

Gauthier says it was voter's desire for new ideas and new leadership that led to the upset. She welcomed the chance to learn from Blackwell. 

Blackwell wished Gauthier the best.

"I'm always here. I've been here a long time. I've loved my work here and...I'm fine," Blackwell said. 

Council President Darrell Clarke says she has seven months left to serve.

"Given her skill set, her talent and her interest in a lot of different matters, can pretty much end up wherever she may choose," Clarke said.