Council At-Large Challengers Rival Incumbents in Cash Game

Steinke, Greenlee and Neilson have the biggest bank accounts.

Philadelphia will elect at least one new City Council at-large member this year. And unless hell freezes over, it will be a Democrat.

No fewer than 12 Democrats are currently running in the at-large race, and more potential candidates, including education activist Helen Gym, Council aide Derek Green and attorney Sharif Street, could jump in any day now.

This year’s first batch of campaign finance reports, which were due Monday, give a good indication of which candidates are for real and which stand little chance of winning.

Paul Steinke, the former general manager of the Reading Terminal Market, had about $91,400 on hand at the end of 2014, the most of any candidate in the Democratic City Council at-large race. City Councilman Bill Greenlee had the second-most, $90,650, while Ed Neilson had the third-most, $84,000. Adjunct professor Isaiah Thomas and Dilworth Paxson partner Tom Wyatt tied for fourth, about $67,300 each.

Neilson (who ran in and won a special election in 2014 to replace former Councilman Bill Green), Steinke and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown were the top fundraisers last year in the Democratic at-large race.

Correction: This post previously stated an inaccurate sum for Councilman Bill Greenlee’s cash on hand, and did not note that he had the second-most cash on hand of the candidates.