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Philly's Democratic primary: A look at who could upset endorsed candidates

May 17, 2019 - 4:00 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia's Democratic primary for City Council-at-large features a field of 28 candidates for five slots on the November ballot. There are three incumbents and two candidates endorsed by the city committee, but several others in the field are serious threats to the establishment candidates.  

On Election Day, party workers hand out sample ballots of endorsed candidates, which can have a big influence on a down-ballot race like City Council-at-large. However, many ward leaders will accept what's known in Philly politics as "street money" to remove a candidate and add another, so fundraising matters.

Eryn Santamoor, a Nutter administration official, has outraised most of her opponents so she could appear on many sample ballots. Santamoor's also garnered some important endorsements of her own.

Justin DiBerardinis, another first-time candidate, has also raised a sizeable campaign warchest and gathered endorsements, including five Democratic ward organizations.

Related: With dizzying array of candidates, who has the edge in City Council-at-large Democratic primary?

Sandra Dungee Glen of the old School Reform Commission has fewer funds to buy her way onto a ballot, but she has many allies in the party.

While Ethelind Baylor, as vice president of a city workers union, hopes labor can counterbalance the influence of the party.

And then there is the power of luck. Adrian Rivera-Reyes, 26 and proudly a scientist, drew the first position on the official ballot, giving him a big advantage.

Second on the official ballot is Deja Lynn Alvarez, one of a group of activists, who could leverage the strong backing of a smaller group to victory. More about them in a future report.