Small voting blocs could make difference in crowded City Council at-large race

Pat Loeb
May 20, 2019 - 4:00 am
Philadelphia City Hall.

Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Tuesday’s primary election for Philadelphia city offices is going to be a bloated ballot and those high numbers could give some nontraditional candidates a better shot.

The offices up for election include, the mayor, city council, ten district council seats and five people, from each party, will be nominated to represent all of Philadelphia for City Council at-large.

On the Democratic side, a whopping 28 candidates are running for those nominations.

In the last council-at-large primary, Democratic candidates needed less than 8% of the vote to win, and that was with fewer candidates. So it's conceivable, with the pie sliced 28 ways that a candidate could win with perhaps 40,000 votes.

There are several candidates in the race that may be relatively unknown citywide, but have pre-existing constituencies — due to their activism — that could put them over the top.

For example, Erika Almiron leads the Latino civil rights group Juntos, and she's expanded that base with endorsements from other progressive groups.

Deja Lyn Alvarez would also be the first transgender council member, if elected. She's also second on the ballot, which gives her an added advantage.

Beth Finn is the founder of the Women's March on Philadelphia. Asa Khalif is a local leader of Black Lives Matter, though he has done no serious fundraising.

Fernando Trevino is also involved in Latino and immigrant advocacy and he knows city politics, having worked on several local election campaigns.

The LGBTQ community could also be see Philadelphia first openly gay member to council if 26-year-old Adrian Rivera-Reyes prevails.

With some many horses in the race small voting blocs could make a big difference Tuesday’s outcome.