POLS ON THE STREET: Dems Drop Cohen In 202nd State House Race

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by Joe Shaheeli

JARED SOLOMON …endorsed candidate

JARED SOLOMON
…endorsed candidate

The cement blend of Democratic Party endorsements and 42 years of service as the state representative from the 202nd Legislative Dist. is now crumbling under State Rep. Mark Cohen’s (D-Northeast) seat. The bulk of the ward leaders in that district have endorsed his opponent.

BAGS of clothing were given to underprivileged attendees at State Rep. Mark Cohen’s Community Appreciation Day at Tarken Rec Center. Staffers and volunteers above included Charmaine Collins, Wamenica Fleming, Dana Felder and Deb Whittingham. Photo by Bill Myers

BAGS of clothing were given to underprivileged attendees at State Rep. Mark Cohen’s Community Appreciation Day at Tarken Rec Center. Staffers and volunteers above included Charmaine Collins, Wamenica Fleming, Dana Felder and Deb Whittingham. Photo by Bill Myers

Jared Solomon, who is again challenging 42-year incumbent Cohen, has been endorsed by the City Democratic Party. The 35th, led by Bill Dolbow; 54th, headed by Controller Alan Butkovitz; and 62nd, by Margaret Tartaglione, were the Democratic Wards voting to give the official caucus endorsement to Solomon. The one ward not endorsing was the 56th, with a single division; and the 53rd, led by Janice Sulman.

With that many years in a seat, one tends to lose as many supporters as are being made. First is the fact the continued assaults made on that seat by repeat challenger Jared Solomon, who has done everything imaginable to woo away voters from Cohen, were noticed by the Democratic ward leaders who this time endorsed him.

And it could be to the fact Mark hasn’t ever been good at mending or patching differences popping up between him and his caucus leaders over the years.

His polling, Cohen says, shows he is better known in the district than Solomon. He believes that confirms his stewardship has cultivated deep voter loyalty. Though labor split endorsements in this race, he points to a nearly 100% union voting record, figuring he will do well in that category as well.

However, there indeed is an earthquake crumbling Cohen’s world of assured reelection bids. He now knows he has to do battle with those who once were his loyal supporters.

With the local organization now 42 to 22 divisions in favor of Solomon, and Jared’s campaign team long in election mode, all signs point to this election as possibly marking the end of the Cohen era.

Yet Cohen feels he is prepared to wage a strong campaign despite this short notice, with the primary just around the corner. A big turnout is envisaged because the state, for the first time in a long time, figures in the national presidential campaign for both major parties.

Butkovitz, who is City Controller as well as ward leader, said, “The City Democratic Party’s endorsement of Jared Solomon’s candidacy for State Representative is not your typical endorsement. This is the first time since 1978 that the City Democratic Party has not endorsed Mark Cohen in an election. They decided it was time to give someone else a chance to address the most-serious issues the 202nd Dist. faces – crime, infrastructure, and poverty – and I couldn’t agree more. We need a strong leader who will fight to bring resources from the state to our community. I’m confident voters will agree on Apr. 26 that it is time to give Jared a shot.”

State Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-Kensington), who has personally endorsed Solomon’s candidacy, put it simply: “Jared Solomon is the best choice to represent this district. That is why I give my endorsement and full support to Jared. I look forward to working with his campaign towards victory this Apr. 26.”

Solomon responded, “It is an honor to receive the endorsement of the Democratic Party and so many well-respected leaders in Philadelphia. I am excited to work as a representative for my community in Harrisburg.”

Philadelphia Millennial-run PAC “Philly Set Go” endorsed Solomon’s candidacy, stating, “A lifetime resident of his district, he is committed to improving his community and Philadelphia. Seeing his neighborhood struggle, Jared refused to give up on his community. He founded a nonprofit organization focused on addressing the quality-of-life issues that challenged his neighbors. Jared is eager to take this approach to Harrisburg; his district needs a champion like him.”

Sims Loses 5th Ward Endorsement For 182nd But Gains Mayor’s

MAYOR Jim Kenney is in State Rep. Brian Sims’ corner despite Sims’ loss of 5th Ward endorsement.

MAYOR Jim Kenney is in State Rep. Brian Sims’ corner despite Sims’ loss of 5th Ward endorsement.

In another major shift of support, incumbent State Rep. Brian Sims (D-S. Phila.) has lost a key endorsement, the 5th Ward. Whether erosion of his support continues into the 2nd and 8th Wards remains to be seen. The 5th Ward has been his base of support.

Challenger Ben Waxman, with a hefty war chest, who seen the strongest of Brian’s competition has spread the word. Waxman has Harrisburg experience as a staffer for State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-W. Phila.).

It was the 5th Ward that put him over the top in his battle against incumbent State Rep. Babette Josephs by just over 200 votes. Now squiring Waxman around to her longtime supporters in the high rises in the 8th Ward – is Babette. That ward is expected to announce its commitment shortly.

Also aboard for Waxman this week was “Philly Set Go”, the millennial political-action committee. Waxman, at 31, is youngest of three candidates in race.

Sims, however, is not without friends in the 5th Ward. At a crowded fundraiser in Tavern on Camac Tuesday night, he received the endorsement of Mayor Jim Kenney.

5th Senatorial Dist. Still City’s Top Battle

The battle between incumbent State Sen. John Sabatina, Jr. and State Rep. Kevin Boyle (both D-Northeast) still occupies the center arena in this city’s primary election.

With labor endorsements on both sides, each is committed to building a ground campaign to bring out the most voters.

Entering the campaign on the side of incumbent Sabatina this week was a strong endorsement by popular Sheriff Jewell Williams, who announced he is hosting a cocktail reception Tuesday, Apr. 12, at 1518 Bar & Grill, 1518 Sansom Street, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Penna. Realtors put their money with their backing as Greater Phila. Association of Realtors Dir. of Government Relations Angela Bowie and local realtor present $1,500 contribution from PA Realtors PAC to State Rep. Candidate Tonyelle Cook-Artis newly elected to 200th Legislative Dist.

Penna. Realtors put their money with their backing as Greater Phila. Association of Realtors Dir. of Government Relations Angela Bowie and local realtor present $1,500 contribution from PA Realtors PAC to State Rep. Candidate Tonyelle Cook-Artis newly elected to 200th Legislative Dist.

Tickets are $250, with sponsorships available at higher levels. For info RSVP Taylor at (215) 821-7606.

Also pushing Sabatina is Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 19, led by Gary Masino, who hosted a union rally for Stephen Zappala for Attorney General as well as Sabatina Monday evening at its headquarters.
Sabatina thanked Masino and Local 19 rank and file for turning out every weekend to canvass voters for him, saying he believed they had turned the tide in his favor.

Adding weight to the Sabatina campaign was the endorsement by the APSCUF. This group represents more than 5,500 faculty members and coaches of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities statewide.

Sabatina acknowledged, “They represent much of Pennsylvania higher-education faculty and their endorsement further proves my commitment to high-quality education.”

Among other endorsements he has received are those of former Philadelphia DA Lynne Abraham, Carpenters Northeast Regional Council, AFSCME Local 88, Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, UFCW Local 1776, Pennsylvania State Troopers Local 37, Operating Engineers Local 542, Roofers & Waterproofers Local 30, Teamsters Regional Council, the International Longshoremen Local 1291, Communications Workers of America 13000, and the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades District Council 21.

 The 5th Senatorial Dist. includes all or part of the 41st, 45th, 54th, 56th, 57th, 58th, 64th, 65th, and 66th wards of the Greater Northeast area of Philadelphia. It is home to over 250,000 voters.

City Dems Tap Zappala For Attorney General

MONSTER rally for Attorney General candidate Stephen Zappala drew Democratic Party faithful from all over city to Galdo’s Catering in S. Phila. Tuesday night. Three ward leaders join him here: City Controller Alan Butkovitz, Matty Myers and Tony Faulk. Photo by Wendell Douglas

MONSTER rally for Attorney General candidate Stephen Zappala drew Democratic Party faithful from all over city to Galdo’s Catering in S. Phila. Tuesday night. Three ward leaders join him here: City Controller Alan Butkovitz, Matty Myers and Tony Faulk. Photo by Wendell Douglas

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, 2nd from left, last week easily won the endorsement of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee over two other Philadelphia area candidates in the race for Attorney General. With the endorsement, Zappala now has the support of the two largest Democratic organizations made up of rank-and-file Democratic Committee members in Allegheny County in the west and the city of Philadelphia in the east.

“Winning the endorsement of the organization that represents the biggest block of Democratic voters in Pennsylvania is a tremendous boost to our campaign. I am truly honored the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee chose to endorse me after taking measure of my 18-year record as a prosecutor fighting for justice for crime victims, holding corrupt public officials accountable and making our justice system more fair and transparent for everyone,” said Zappala.

Earlier in the week at a press conference led by State Sen. Anthony Williams (D-W. Phila.), Zappala picked up the endorsement of prominent Philadelphia African American elected officials and leaders in the faith community. He also has won the support of the Philadelphia Ward Leaders of Color and several Philadelphia labor unions including the Firefighters, Longshoremen and United Steelworkers.

Adding cream to his cake was the announcement at press time the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters has endorsed Zappala.

“On behalf of the NRCC, it is with great pleasure that we endorse you for Pennsylvania Attorney General. Your commitment to public service and to the labor movement has been long standing and we are proud to support you in your candidacy,” said John Ballantyne, NRCC executive secretary-treasurer, in a letter announcing the support.

John Morganelli and Joshua Shapiro indicate they expect to have support among the city’s voters.

The big question for Shapiro is whether or not his endorsement by President Barack Obama will carry big weight among Philadelphia’s voters as well as the rest of the state.

GARY MASINO, president/business manager of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, congratulates Democratic Attorney General Stephen Zappala on receiving union’s endorsement in his race for nomination as Attorney General.

GARY MASINO, president/business manager of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, congratulates Democratic Attorney General Stephen Zappala on receiving union’s endorsement in his race for nomination as Attorney General.

Here’s what the President said: “Josh Shapiro is a true progressive with a strong record of standing up for Pennsylvania families. As Attorney General he’ll fight to reform the criminal-justice system to make it fairer for all and protect seniors and consumers. Josh Shapiro is a person with character and integrity and represents a new generation of progressive leadership. I’m proud to endorse Josh Shapiro for Attorney General.”

Yo, Josh! One of the ways to get Obama’s message across effectively is to use the advertising pages of the Philadelphia Public Record. Cost is pennies compared to your TV dollars.

City Registration Stats As They Really Are!

For those readers who fully understand the only true source for election stats in this region is the office of the City Commissioners and their very helpful, dedicated staffs, we take pains to make sure you get what they report.

From their registration staff, here is the “skinny” on registration results for this primary.

New registration applications totaled 31,375. Of these, 22,857 were new Democrats; 4,193 new Republicans.

In the changeover category, switching party registrations, Democrats going over to Republican were an impressive 4,426. Republicans going over to Democrat numbered 1,947.

WHYY To Host 2nd Dist. Congressional Debate

WHYY will host Pennsylvania’s 2nd Dist. Congressional Democratic Debate on Monday, Apr. 11, 8:00-9:00 a.m., on 90.9 WHYY-FM and will also be available via live stream. The debate will be moderated by WHYY’s Dave Davies.

The recent indictment of long-time Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-Phila.) has stirred up controversy in the upcoming election for Pennsylvania’s 2nd Dist. Challenging the incumbent in the Democratic primary on Apr. 26 are State Rep. Dwight Evans (D-N. Phila.), Lower Merion Township Commissioner Brian Gordon, and local attorney Dan Muroff.

Sanders ‘Berns’ On Hillary In Pa.!

US Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign received the endorsement from State Sen. Arthur Haywood (D-Northwest) the other day, leading skeptics to believe he has an outside shot of taking away what is perceived as a sure win for Hillary Clinton.

PART OF reception welcoming most-important ambassador in USA, China’s Cui Tiankai, to Phila. was DA Seth Williams.

PART OF reception welcoming most-important ambassador in USA, China’s Cui Tiankai, to Phila. was DA Seth Williams.

As a reason for his support, Haywood cited the need for an ambitious national agenda that draws people into the political process that only Sanders provides. “Number one reason to endorse Bernie Sanders is he is so right on the question of getting citizens involved in changing how we govern America. It is his call for engagement, for participation, that is at the heart of why he is the candidate of my choice,” explained Haywood.

With Sanders and Clinton putting in early appearances before April 26 primary at the AFL-CIO State convention here this week, it marks the beginning of a real race between the two.

At stake for Hillary is whether her long base of support, especially of the financial type, and her husband’s easy wins here, will stave off the onslaught of a wave of Sanders support evident by the growing number of campaign headquarters for her challenger.

She wooed the labor-convention delegates yesterday and Saunders was scheduled to do the same this morning.

Sanders’ campaign on Saturday will kick off “Pennsylvania Days of Action”, a weekend where hundreds of volunteers across the state will make a massive and coordinated effort to knock on doors and make phone calls. His campaign opened an office at 1000 Diamond Street on Tuesday and sparked a rally at Liacouras Center late yesterday afternoon.

Sanders’ campaign has opened up offices from Erie to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh to Scranton and dozens of cities and towns in between. Hillary should know by now she has a serious fight on her hands.

The GOP presidential race has visited Central Pennsylvania. US Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who also visited Philadelphia, have been stumping in central Pennsylvania for conservative votes, appearing also before the Pennsylvania Leadership Council – he premiere annual gathering of public-policy conservatives in Pennsylvania.

The State Supreme Court recently rejected an appeal attempting to remove Cruz from the April 26 primary ballot with the claim Cruz is not a natural-born US citizen and not eligible to be a candidate for US President.

AFT Pennsylvania Endorses Santarsiero

AFT Pennsylvania has endorsed State Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) for the 8th Congressional Dist. in the Democratic primary.

GROWING vortex of political energy in Phila.’s strategic Chinatown attracts from around city, state and world. At Joy Tsin Lau, where Greater Phila. Fujian Association was celebrating Chinese New Year, Councilman David Oh and others listened as suburban congressional candidate Lindy Li thanked her supporters but announced she had been stricken from ballot after petition challenge.

GROWING vortex of political energy in Phila.’s strategic Chinatown attracts from around city, state and world. At Joy Tsin Lau, where Greater Phila. Fujian Association was celebrating Chinese New Year, Councilman David Oh and others listened as suburban congressional candidate Lindy Li thanked her supporters but announced she had been stricken from ballot after petition challenge.

“A former teacher, Steve has been a strong advocate for public education,” said Ted Kirsch, AFT Pennsylvania president. “He understands the importance of high-quality early-childhood education, has a record of fighting for adequate and fair funding for public schools and is dedicated to making our colleges and universities affordable. Steve knows investing in education is essential to building Pennsylvania’s economy.”

He also received the coveted endorsement of the PA AFL-CIO at its convention this week. “With a record of standing up for working families and fighting to create good paying jobs, Steve Santarsiero is the pro-labor candidate in the race for Congress,” said AFL-CIO PA President Rick Bloomingdale. “The AFL-CIO is proud to endorse Steve Santarsiero’s campaign for Congress and we know that once elected, Steve will continue working for everyday Americans.”

With Lindy Li ending her campaign for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 6th Dist., Democrats are left with another district without a strong candidate. Their goal to take back the majority is falling short of doable.

Represent! PAC Taps Rep. Donna Bullock

REPRESENT! PAC, Pennsylvania’s only political-action committee focused on investing significant and early resources in Democratic women candidates, has endorsed State Rep. Donna Bullock (D-N. Phila.) for Pennsylvania’s 195th Dist.

The endorsement committee was particularly impressed with Bullock’s lifelong advocacy for women, which began when she founded a young women’s mentoring group as a teenager, and continues today as she holds regular events to encourage women of color to run for office.

“Represent PAC is excited to endorse Rep. Donna Bullock for election this April,” Represent PAC cofounder Aubrey Montgomery said. “Rep. Bullock is a fantastic candidate who will continue to provide much-needed leadership in Harrisburg, and we are proud to support her campaign.”

Brady Attends Savage’s Pa. House Swearing-In

PACKED to overflowing was Overbrook Pk. Free Library as angry residents protested traffic dangers since PennDOT pushed to remove normal traffic lights along Haverford Avenue artery. Councilman Curtis Jones, Congressman Bob Brady and State Rep. Lynwood Savage listened to irate community’s concerns and vowed action.

NONE OTHER than Gov. Tom Wolf attended State Rep. Jordan Harris at Harris’ wine-tasting affair at Painted Bride Art Center in Old City. Photo by Wendell Douglas

NONE OTHER than Gov. Tom Wolf attended State Rep. Jordan Harris at Harris’ wine-tasting affair at Painted Bride Art Center in Old City. Photo by Wendell Douglas

Newly elected Philadelphia native Lynwood Savage was sworn in as state representative of the 192nd Legislative District at a ceremony in the State House chamber early this week.

Savage’s long-time friend Congressman Bob Brady (D-Phila.), family, friends and clergy were scheduled to attend Tuesday’s ceremony.

Savage won the legislative seat in a special election Mar. 15 after the seat was vacated by State Rep. Louise Williams Bishop (D-W. Phila.) when she resigned in the middle of her two-year term.

Planned Parenthood Supports Coles In 164th

Planned Parenthood and Delaware County chapter of the Southeast Pennsylvania National Organization of Women have endorsed Councilwoman Sekela Coles in her bid to unseat incumbent Margo Davidson in the 164th Legislative Dist. Coles opposes HB 1948 (Pain Capable/Dismemberment Pro-Life Legislation) and calls on Davidson to vote no.

“I am proud to have the endorsement of two of the most prominent women’s organizations, Planned Parenthood and Southeast PA NOW. It is time that the 164th Dist. has a State Representative that consistently and unequivocally stands up for women’s rights,” said Councilwoman Coles.

DeLissio Goes Without Philly Dems’ Support

It’s obvious local County Democratic organizations do their best to get along and support the same candidates they share. So when they disagree we see some serious arm-wrestling.

Such is the case in the 194th. Challenger Sean Stevens was given short shrift when he attended the Democratic Montgomery County organization meeting seeking an endorsement. They made it obvious incumbent State Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-Northwest) was their baby.

STRONG Republican backing was evident in this photo as seen by attendance of RCC Chairman Joe DeFelice, Jim Pio, White, Jack Kelly, Bill Pettigrew and Ward Leader Tom Daley. Photo by Lauren Gallen

STRONG Republican backing was evident in this photo as seen by attendance of RCC Chairman Joe DeFelice, Jim Pio, White, Jack Kelly, Bill Pettigrew and Ward Leader Tom Daley. Photo by Lauren Gallen

In Philly, Democratic City Committee endorsed the choice of the 194th Legislative Dist.’s caucus. It wasn’t Pam. The district splits, literally in two, one leg in Montco, the other in Roxborough. So the 21st Ward which encompasses Manayunk and Roxborough, led by Lou Agre, and the 38th Ward, adjacent to it, led by Mark Green, endorsed Stevens. He’s been waging a strong campaign.

Now, with voter turnout hopefully expected to be higher than normal, Pam might have a problem with this one.

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2 Responses to POLS ON THE STREET: Dems Drop Cohen In 202nd State House Race

  1. Please understand that Pam DeLissio receives the endorsement of the Montgomery County Dems because she deserves it: she does a wonderful job of representing her constituents in Lower Merion and in NW Philadelphia as well.

    I cannot explain why Mark Green won’t endorse her, as I have no connection to him, but in my view, the reason behind Lou Agre’s refusal to endorse her is simple: She beat him in the primary, six years ago, and he still can’t get over it. In addition, she will not “pay to play”, and that further irritates him. He will continue to throw opponents at her until one of them defeats her; it’s all about payback, not qualified candidates, because if it were the latter, she would surely have the full endorsement of the 21st Ward.

    Unlike some other wards, the committee people in the 2st Ward (of which I am one) do not have a vote. It’s about what Lou wants – and what Mr. Sour Grapes wants, is anyone other than Pam as our State Representative.

    Marlene Schleifer
    April 8, 2016 at 3:41 pm

  2. Brian Sims looks like he is in a tough race. The 5th Ward can really shoe their influence here. The 21st Ward committee members have no vote? Tragic. The DeLissio versus Stephens race should be interesting.

    Michael E. Bell
    April 19, 2016 at 3:37 pm

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