How many city and state lawmakers from Philadelphia support Hillary Rodham Clinton? Answer: Eight City Council members and eight state representatives.
Their names were listed in a press release distributed by Clinton's campaign today, about 90 minutes after local officials who are Obama supporters held a news conference announcing their pick in Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.
Standing together in City Hall, six Councilmembers, three state represenatives and two state senators said Obama was their choice.
In addition, City Council President Anna Verna, who did not attend the news conference, also informed Obama that he has her vote as leader of the 36th Ward in South Philadelphia.
"This decision is in her capacity as a political leader, not a councilwoman," said Verna spokesman Anthony Radwanski. He explained that she is confining her endorsement to her ward position so as not to speak for the leaders of other wards located inside of the Second Council District Verna represents.
Some of those wards are backing Hillary Rodham Clinton; some are behind Obama.
Verna did not take a formal vote in her ward, Radwanski said, "But she knows her committeepeople well enough to know who they are supporting."
The intent of today's Obama endorsements was to boost the show of local support for Obama, given two new television ads highlighting that Clinton has the backing of two popular officials: Gov. Rendell and Mayor Nutter.
The Council members announcing their support of Obama today were: Curtis Jones, Bill Green, Jannie Blackwell, Donna Reed-Miller, Jim Kenney and Wilson Goode, Jr.
Among the Pennsylvania lawmakers were Shirley Kitchen and Vincent Hughes, and state representatives Jewell Williams, Harold James and Tony Payton Jr.
"In Pennsylvania, we realize that top party officials are not with us as it relates to Senator Obama's candidacy," Jones said, "but there are three words that were born in Philadelphia and still resonate across the Commonwealth today, and they are 'We the People.'"