Isaiah Thomas received two public endorsements from sitting council members today for his bid for City Council at-large.
Fourth District Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., and Seventh District Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez both threw support behind Thomas at a rally held at City Hall.
City Controller Alan Butkovitz also attended and endorsed Thomas as did several labor unions.
With former Councilman Jim Kenney running for mayor, there is a vacant at-large seat that needs to be filled along with four Democratic incumbents and two Republicans vying to keep their seats.
The endorsements are significant given the crowded field of 21 Democratic candidates, including four incumbents who are trying to hold on to their seats despite low ballot positions.
Thursday was also the first very public endorsement of a non-incumbent by incumbents this election.
Thomas works at Sankofa Freedom Academy, a charter school in Frankford where he is associate dean and coach. He also works as an adjunct professor at Lincoln University.
"He is fierce and unapologetic about being for young people," said Sanchez who represents Frankford.
Butkovitz said at 31 Thomas has "already done more than enough to justify his existence on this planet."
Thomas will have to overcome a low ballot position – he drew 20th out of 21 Democrats, but Butkovitz said given the union and political endorsements, Thomas could win. In 2011 Thomas came in 8th in a race for five Council at-large seat.
"There are people who are annoyed by his candidacy, who see him creeping up over their shoulder," Butkovitz said.
Thomas comes from a family of 10 children raised in East Oak Lane. Jones said that could serve him on Council.
"Coming from a family of 10, you'll do well," Jones said. "You've been negotiation your whole life."