PHILADELPHIA Democrats turned three City Council incumbents out of office yesterday, including two who'd gained their seats in controversial special elections last November.
Councilwoman Carol Ann Campbell and Councilman Daniel Savage were defeated in their bids for nomination to full terms after ward leaders had nominated them to fill vacancies last fall.
Also losing was freshman at-large Councilman Juan Ramos, who finished in eighth place, well behind the last of the five candidates to make the cut, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.
Ramos, who gained some notice with a bill banning trans fats, was dogged by intra-party fighting and a bad ballot position.
There was also the presence of Ben Ramos, the former state representative, who had a more prominent position on the ballot and ran in fifth place for much of the night before Brown passed him by.
Bill Green, son of the former mayor, bolted into fourth place in a campaign of heavy spending and a message of reform.
With 96 percent of the divisions reporting, the winners in the at-large race were Councilman James Kenney, with 92,492 votes; Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. with 77,423; Councilman Bill Greenlee, who won his seat in a special election last November, with 61,684; Green with 60,334; and Brown with 50,163.
Juan Ramos received 42,857 votes in his losing bid.
Mayor Street's son, Sharif, a lawyer making his second bid for office, came up short with 46,408. His uncle, T. Milton Street, drew 10,100 votes.
In her bid for a full term, ward leader and Bob Brady confidant Campbell, who had replaced mayoral nominee Michael Nutter, ran a stealth campaign, rarely attending public forums in her 4th District, which stretches from West Philadelphia to East Falls and up to Roxborough.
Her opponents - Curtis J. Jones Jr., the former head of the Philadelphia Commercial Development Corp., and lawyer Matt McClure - ran furious and expensive races. With 96 percent of the divisions reporting, Jones had almost 35 percent of the vote to Campbell's 33 percent and McClure's 32 percent.
Jones said he ran well in West Philadelphia, but he added, "We got support from every part of the district just as we campaigned everywhere."
In the zig-zagging 7th District, challenger Maria Quinones Sanchez, who garnered a strong endorsement from Gov. Rendell, handily defeated incumbent Savage (who had replaced jailed former Councilman Rick Mariano) with slightly more than 52 percent of the vote to Savage's 41 percent.
"I think we ran a campaign of issues, of people and hope," said Quinones, a former Council employee who later headed a social services agency.
In the 8th District in Northwest Philadelphia, running from Tioga to Germantown, Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill, Councilwoman Donna Miller turned back three challengers by taking not quite a third of the vote.
With 95 percent of the divisions reporting, Miller had almost 32 percent of the vote. Cindy Bass, a policy consultant to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, was second with 27 percent. Lawyer Irv Ackelsberg was in third place with almost 25 percent, and Greg Paulmier, who had been defeated twice before by Miller, was in last place with almost 17 percent.
Councilman Frank DiCicco was headed to an easy victory over former Redevelopment Authority attorney Vern Anastasio in the 1st District, which runs from South Philadelphia along the river through Center City and the river wards and on to the lower Northeast.
With about 97 percent of the divisions reporting, DiCicco was cruising with 68 percent of the vote to 32 percent for Anastasio.
Council President Anna Verna easily turned aside the challenge of former Philadelphia Housing Authority attorney Damon K. Roberts, who engaged in a vigorous grass-roots campaign linking Verna to state Sen. Vincent Fumo, who is under federal indictment.
Verna racked up 79 percent of the vote, with 94 percent of the divisions reporting in her 2nd District in South and Southwest Philadelphia.
Councilman Darrell Clarke, who had succeeded to John Street's 5th District in Center City and North Philadelphia, had no trouble gaining renomination against Strawberry Mansion activist Haile C. Johnston and businessman John J. Longacre.
With 92 percent of the divisions reporting, Clarke had 70 percent of the vote, Johnston was at 20 percent and Longacre was at 10 percent. Clarke has no Republican opponent in the fall.
And Councilwoman Marian Tasco swamped three opponents in the 9th District and faces no Republican opposition in the fall. With 99 percent of the divisions reporting, Tasco had 72 percent of the vote.
Cecil A. Hankins, a retired social-services employee in city government, had 12 percent, and Ray Jones, co-founder of Men United for a Better Philadelphia and a former community coordinator in the Street administration, had 11 percent. Case manager Lamont Thomas pulled just 5 percent.
Council Democrats Jannie Blackwell and Joan Krajewski as well as Brian O'Neill, a Northeast Republican, faced no primary opponents. All three incumbents will have opponents in the November general election. *