The Brief: Democrats to Endorse Openly Gay Council Candidate for First Time Ever
Bob Brady, chairman of Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee, says City Council At-Large candidate Sherrie Cohen is expected to win the party’s endorsement.
Cohen tells us the policy arm of the city committee recommended her for an endorsement Saturday. She expects the full party to ratify the decision next month.
That could be a deciding factor in the City Council At-Large race (which, in all seriousness, is more interesting than the mayor’s race some days).
It means ward leaders across Philadelphia would help turn out the vote for Cohen. Yes, some ward leaders could cut her from the all-important sample ballots they hand out to voters, but many would fall in line.
It also would be a victory for the city’s LGBT community. Cohen is openly gay, and LGBT leaders have been pushing hard for the city committee to endorse an out candidate for the first time in its history.
But the endorsement wouldn’t be an ironclad guarantee that Cohen does well at the polls, simply because there are several other serious candidates in the race. For instance, City Council At-Large candidate Helen Gym has the support of the teachers union. Isaiah Thomas also has labor support as well as the backing of some Council incumbents, while Paul Steinke was the top fundraiser in the race last year. Meanwhile, Allan Domb, a/k/a the Center City “condo king,” could drop a nuclear bomb on everyone if he heavily funded his own campaign.
Another wild card: Which Council candidates will the dark-money outfit Philadelphia 3.0 support? That group’s spending could diminish, at least to some extent, the city committee’s potency.
In other words, the City Council At-Large race will be a test of how much the local Democratic Party’s support is really worth in 2015.
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