Skip to content
Philadelphia Politics
Link copied to clipboard

Doc: No Johnny Come Lately

Score two in the victory column for John Dougherty, business manager of electricians' union Local 98 and a failed state senate candidate to fill the seat of felon Vincent J. Fumo.

First, Dougherty won election last week as leader of Philadelphia's 1st Ward.

Then, last night, a Dougherty ally, Ed Nesmith, was declared the victor in the bruising battle for leader of the 2nd Ward.

Here's the way it went down:

Nick Schmanek, an aide to City Councilman Frank DiCicco, who is decidedly not a Dougherty ally, went to Democratic Party headquarters on Walnut Street to appeal to a "contest committee" that Nesmith inappropriately declared himself the winner of the 2nd ward race after Schmanek and Nesmith drew an equal number of votes.

Schmanek lost the argument, unable to persuade the contest committee, which ruled that in the case of a tie, the right thing to do is to defer to the incumbent ward leader - handing victory to Nesmith.

Another display of democracy in action?

Oh, and if anyone's curious, here are the ward leaders who sat on the contest committee: Democratic Party chairman Bob Brady, Mike McAleer (he chaired the committee), state Rep. Frank Oliver, Shirley Gregory, state Sen. Shirley Kitchen, Ann Brown, Edgar Campbell - and Dougherty, appointed by Brady to sit in for City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski.

Click here for's politics page.