The special election to replace former City Councilmember Bobby Henon, who resigned in January after being convicted on federal corruption charges, is expected to take place on May 17, a spokesperson for the City Commissioners Office said.
That’s the same day as Pennsylvania’s primary election for state and federal offices, when the parties will select their nominees in this year’s open U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races.
In Philadelphia, ward leaders select their parties’ nominees for special elections. Democratic ward leaders in the Lower Northeast Philadelphia-based district have selected State Rep. Mike Driscoll, who is the overwhelming favorite to win the special election due to the district’s heavily Democratic makeup.
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke has told the city commissioners, who run city elections, that he intends to set the special election for May 17, said Nick Custodio, a spokesperson for Commissioner Lisa Deeley. The winner will serve the remaining 18 months of Henon’s four-year term, through January 2024.
A spokesperson for Clarke declined to comment.
Aligning special elections with primary or general election days saves the city money because the commissioners are already paying to set up voting locations in the district. It can also increase turnout.
Clarke is expected to make it official on Monday by filing a writ of election, Custodio said. That would set April 5 as the deadline for nominations.
The Philadelphia GOP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they had nominated a candidate.
Whoever wins the special election will have to defend the seat next year, when all 17 Council seats and an open mayoral race will be on the ballot.