Long-time Democratic Party loyalist and WARD LEADER EDGAR HOWARD passed suddenly at the relatively early age of 70. Howard’s successful political career included serving as a committeeman, an aide to STATE REP. DWIGHT EVANS, and then rising to succeed Evans as the 10th Ward Leader in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane neighborhood. He served five terms as Ward Leader. He was elected as a City Commissioner in 2003 and served through 2007.
Edgar’s success in city politics was attributed to his easy-going style which garnered him love and respect throughout the city and Democratic City Committee. Among those who attended his viewing and funeral at the Enon Tabernacle Church were STATE SEN. ANTHONY WILLIAMS and STATE SEN. SHIRLEY KITCHEN, CONGRESSMAN BOB BRADY, 66B WARD LEADER MIKE MCALEER, 57TH WARD LEADER PAT PARKINSON, his old boss Evans and COUNCILWOMAN MARIAN TASCO.
COUNCILWOMAN MARIA QUIÑONES SÁNCHEZ continues to garner headlines and attention with nearly every little move she makes. She is fielding her own slate of candidates for three State House seats and one State Senate seat. One of the candidates for a Senate seat is her own husband TOMÁS SANCHEZ. Sánchez will end up in a three-way race with former City Councilman DAN SAVAGE and incumbent STATE SEN. TINA TARTAGLIONE. She is also fielding a candidate for STATE REP. J.P. MIRANDA’S house seat. The unfortunate Miranda was recently indicted on corruption charges. He has not yet resigned. But Quiñones Sánchez seems to be emerging as the top Hispanic political force in Philadelphia. Whether this status is warranted is irrelevant. The media seems to have given her that title. And in politics, perception is reality.
It is unclear who will be most helped by a three-way race for the Tartaglione seat. Tartaglione is working hard and cornering much labor support. But Savage is backed by powerhouse IBEW Local 98 leader JOHN DOUGHERTY. Does Tomás Sanchez benefit from that fight and obtain a road to victory?
The saga of the potential civil war between STATE REPS. ED NEILSON and JOHN SABATINA, JR. may be resolved if one of them fills the vacant City Council seat of BILL GREEN. But this is not yet written in stone. Green has resigned his seat, but Council PRESIDENT DARRELL CLARKE must call for a special election to fill that seat.
At the same time, MALCOLM LAZIN, one of the most-prominent LGBT leaders, has claimed the seat should be reserved for the LGBT community. Others have claimed the seat should be reserved for a woman or a minority. But the masterful Bob Brady will figure out a solution where everyone is a winner.