Last week was the deadline for candidates in the upcoming primary to file nominating petitions, and there will be plenty of names to choose from on May 16.
At least that’s the case on the Democratic side. There’s little competition on the Republican side.
For instance, Beth Grossman — a former assistant district attorney and chief of staff for the Department of Licenses and Inspections — is unopposed for the GOP nomination for district attorney.
The big race will be the Democratic contest for DA, as incumbent Seth Williams is not seeking a third term.
There are seven candidates: Tariq El-Shabazz, the district attorney office’s former first assistant and deputy chief for investigations; former federal prosecutor Joe Khan; former Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni; former city managing director Rich Negrin; civil rights attorney Larry Krasner; attorney and real estate developer Michael Untermeyer; and former assistant district attorney Jack O’Neill.
El-Shabazz filed more than 8,000 signatures, more than eight times the required amount. He kicked off his campaign almost a week into the petition-gathering period.
“I am humbled and honored by the support that I have received during the petition period,” he said. “To the hundreds of volunteers that canvassed our city, to the thousands of voters who took the time to sign our petition, and to the entire city of Philadelphia, know that I will not let you down – I will fight every day for justice, I will work to make you feel safe, and I will be a district attorney who makes you proud to be a Philadelphian.”
Negrin, a former city managing director, issued a statement in response to the executive order on immigration issued by President Trump that, among other things, suspends the entire refugee program for 120 days and establishes a cap of 50,000 refugees per year. Negrin’s father escaped the oppressive government of Cuba to come to America, what his son called “a shining city on a hill.”
“It will tear families apart and create a culture of fear where we should be building relationships based on trust and respect,” he said of the executive order. “What’s more, this order will have a negative impact on our city. Immigrants provide the support and the backbone that help keep our city running smoothly. From entrepreneurs to union workers to lawyers and doctors, immigrants are critical to the fabric of our city.
“Instead of bringing us together as Americans, the president’s executive order will divide us across communities. Make no mistake, those deeper divisions and lack of trust across our neighborhoods will not make us safer. It will negatively impact public safety across our country and across our city. I oppose this executive order because I believe it will create more problems than it solves and will, ultimately, be harmful to the city of Philadelphia.
City Controller Alan Butkovitz has two opponents in the Democratic primary, Rebecca Rhynhart and Bobbie Curry. Rhynhart is the city’s former chief administrative officer. Curry has run for City Council and state representative.
The Republican candidate is Holmesburg resident Mike Tomlinson, a neighborhood activist and former CPA.
City voters will also be choosing candidates for Common Pleas and Municipal Court.
There are 10 openings on Common Pleas Court, with 48 candidates filing. Judge Vince Furlong, of Somerton, was the only candidate to file on both tickets.
There are two openings on Municipal Court. Ten candidates, all Democrats, filed.
Statewide, voters will elect candidates to Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Court.
The Supreme Court race in the general election is set. Both Democrat Dwayne Woodruff and Republican Sallie Mundy are unopposed in the primary.
For four openings on Superior Court, the Democratic candidates are the endorsed slate of Geoffrey Moulton, Carolyn Nichols, Maria McLaughlin and Deborah Kunselman, along with William Caye.
The Republican candidates are the endorsed ticket of Craig Stedman, Paula Patrick, Wade Kagarise and Emil Giordano, along with Mary Murray.
For two openings on Commonwealth Court, the Democratic candidates are Todd Eagen, Joseph Cosgrove, Ellen Ceisler, Bryan Barbin, Walter Barry and Irene McLaughlin Clark. The party has endorsed only Eagen.
The Republican candidates are Christine Cannon and Paul Lalley.
City voters will also decide on the following question: Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to allow for the award of certain contracts based on best value to the City?
According to the charter, contracts must be awarded to the “lowest responsible bidder.” City Council, however, concocted the term “best value” in an effort to, among other things, increase diversity. ••