With five members retiring and several more seats competitive, the next City Council will have the most freshman members since 1991, when seven newcomers were elected.

The Daily News has been analyzing the competitive races in the May 17 primary election. Today we examine the Democratic contest for City Council at-large.

These candidates run citywide. The top five Democratic vote-getters will go on the general-election ballot in the fall. Voters then will elect seven Council members at-large, with two seats guaranteed to the highest vote-getters among minority-party candidates.


This is a packed field, with all five incumbents running, along with 10 challengers.

Who's Running:

Ralph Blakney - A social worker from Roxborough and former leader of the Mayor's Office of Community Services.

Louis Borda - A teacher at J.R. Masterman School, in Center City.

Blondell Reynolds Brown - Running for her fourth term, she's staked out a position as a Council expert on health-and-wellness issues, with legislation on lead poisoning and menu labeling.

Sherrie Cohen - Daughter of former City Councilman David Cohen, she has worked as a community activist on issues like keeping libraries open.

Lawrence Clark - A community activist and former committeeman who lives in Olney.

W. Wilson Goode Jr. - The son of the former mayor, this councilman took office in 2000 and has focused his energy on economic development and minority participation.

Bill Green - Another member with an ex-mayor for a dad, he exploded onto Council in 2008 as an energetic freshman who wrestled with complex issues like business taxes and budgeting strategies. He is widely expected to run for mayor in 2015.

Bill Greenlee - A former Council staffer, he took office after a special election in 2006. He's won respect for thoughtful participation in the budget process and his work on workers'-rights legislation.

Michael Jones - According to a recent report in Metro, he is likely the first blind candidate to run for Council.

Jim Kenney - He's Council's longest-serving at-large member, taking office in 1992. A leader on quality-of-life and public-safety issues, he is likely to play a major role if elected to the next Council.

Janis Manson - A counselor and community advocate from the Northeast, she ran as a write-in candidate in 2003.

Edward Nesmith - A ward leader in South Philadelphia.

Humberto Perez - A former state boxing commissioner who runs a gym in North Philadelphia.

Isaiah Thomas - An administrator and boys basketball coach at the Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School, in Frankford.

Andy Toy - An economic-development expert who put up a good fight for an at-large Democratic spot in 2007.

Debate: 7 p.m. May 12, WHYY, 6th Street near Race.

Who's Got the Edge: Popular wisdom says that in an election in which low turnout is likely, incumbents have a huge advantage. Of the five incumbents, Greenlee and Brown are considered the most vulnerable, but Greenlee drew the enviable No. 1 slot on the ballot, which should give him a boost. If anyone's poised to knock off an old-timer, many think it would be Toy.