City Councilman Brian O’Neill was poised to defeat Democrat Judy Moore Tuesday, withstanding his toughest challenge in years for his seat representing Northeast Philadelphia.
Shortly after midnight, the incumbent Republican was leading Moore by about 2,600 votes, with 95% of the district precincts reporting.
Dan Lodise, Moore’s campaign manager, acknowledged after midnight Wednesday that “unless the remaining votes are disproportionately from our strongest areas, it seems the race will likely be over.”
The district includes Somerton, Chalfont, and Bustleton. O’Neill has represented it for four decades, despite the fact that the district has twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans.
O’Neill, 69, was first elected to City Council in 1979, the year Moore, 40, was born. He has attributed his ability to defeat challengers like Moore to his focus on neighborhood issues rather than political fights.
Moore, a hospitality industry executive, grew up in the Northeast and portrayed herself as a moderate Democrat.
Philadelphia 3.0, an independent political action committee that helped defeat Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell in the May primary race, was expected to help Moore’s campaign. But recent campaign finance reports show that the group did not spend money to support her in the weeks leading up to Election Day.
Results were delayed Tuesday in the race because the regional vote counting office in Northeast Philadelphia was closed. Officials carried USB drives with unofficial vote tallies to election headquarters at Delaware Avenue and Spring Garden Street. As a result, officials results from the Northeast arrived much later than the rest of the city.
Staff writer Jonathan Lai contributed to this article.