CITY HALL SAM: Steamy Struggles Enliven State Rep Races

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STATE SEN. Mike Stack, State Rep. Brendan Boyle, Councilman Bobby Henon and officials of Local 492 Bakery, Confectioners, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union protest closing of former Nabisco plant by Mondelez International, which is moving operations out of state, costing 500 jobs. Stack called on Gov. Tom Corbett to end tax breaks for companies who "fail to consider workers in their business planning."

STATE SEN. Mike Stack, State Rep. Brendan Boyle, Councilman Bobby Henon and officials of Local 492 Bakery, Confectioners, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union protest closing of former Nabisco plant by Mondelez International, which is moving operations out of state, costing 350 jobs. Stack called on Gov. Tom Corbett to end tax breaks for companies who “fail to consider workers in their business planning.” Photo/Rory McGlasson

It’s petition-signing time and there are a number of races that promise to bring fireworks to the primary election.

It appears a bloodbath rematch is on the horizon for portions of Center City and South Philadelphia. STATE REP. BRIAN SIMS, who has garnered much favorable publicity as a member of the Pennsylvania House, may be facing his old nemesis BABETTE JOSEPHS. Former State Rep. Josephs held the seat for many years and Sims defeated her in a close election.

Since that election, Sims has received a lot of exposure and positive publicity on LGBT issues. But Josephs was a champion for the same issues and also excellent at constituent service. All politics is local. Constituencies often care less about issues and more about getting help cutting through government red tape.

Word on the street is Sims has emphasized getting his name in the media rather than taking care of the fundamentals of his constituents. Politics is often a savage game. And fellow politicians are often like crabs in cage. When one of the crabs tries to get ahead of the others and get out of the cage, the other crabs pull him back. Thus too much media can be a bad thing.

Another issue that may haunt Sims is his attack on incumbent STATE REP. MARK COHEN. Sims has called Cohen: “mentally unfit for office.” But Cohen has been elected countless times and usually runs unopposed for reelection. Now JARED SOLOMON, an attractive candidate, is mounting a campaign against him. Usually the incumbent is favored and backed by the political community, but Sims is supporting the primary challenger.

FORMER Gov. Ed Rendell, left, and Sheriff Jewell Williams were two of busy stream of dignitaries who turned out for grand opening of John C. Anderson Apartments, a trail-blazing complex for LGBT seniors in Phila. Gayborhood.

FORMER Gov. Ed Rendell, left, and Sheriff Jewell Williams were two of busy stream of dignitaries who turned out for grand opening of John C. Anderson Apartments, a trail-blazing complex for LGBT seniors in Phila. Gayborhood.

Many political VIPs showed up for the ribbon cutting at the John C. Anderson apartments at 13th & Spruce. This is the site of the apartment complex designed for older members of the LGBT community. It is one of the first in the country of its kind. Among the politicians who fought to get the funding were STATE SENS. ANTHONY WILLIAMS, MIKE STACK AND LARRY FARNESE. Also their house colleague MICHAEL O’BRIEN was able to secure funds.

The amazing MARK SEGAL was the master of ceremonies and the driving force to accomplish the mission. Former GOV. ED RENDELL spoke and called Segal, as only Rendell could or would, “effectively annoying.” MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER gave a laudatory speech. And CONGRESSMAN BOB BRADY presented a congressional citation along with his peers ALLYSON SCHWARTZ and CHAKA FATTAH. Also on hand were former Appropriations Chair STATE REP. DWIGHT EVANS; COUNCILMEN MARK SQUILLA, JIM KENNEY and DAVID OH; and COUNCIL PRESIDENT DARRELL CLARKE.

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