The Democratic primary election for mayor of Philadelphia ended 5 1/2 months ago, but the political fallout still reverberates in City Hall and may affect - among other things - how City Council governs itself for the next four years.

Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., seeking a third term, is unopposed on Tuesday's ballot.

But Jones, the Democratic majority leader since 2012, faces a serious challenge in retaining that coveted Council post.

Jones had an interest in Council President Darrell L. Clarke's job last year as Clarke took his time pondering a run for mayor.

But Clarke ruled that out in January.

Jones said Clarke's decision ended his aspirations for the Council presidency. But, he added, rumormongers in Council spread a very different story - that Jones thought endorsing a winner in the Democratic mayoral primary would help him unseat Clarke.

Clarke backed former Councilman Jim Kenney, who on Tuesday is likely to be elected the next mayor. Jones endorsed state Sen. Anthony H. Williams - the erstwhile front-runner who finished a distant second to Kenney in the six-candidate primary.

"Personally, I would never run against [Clarke] and had no notion to run against him, but felt if there was a void by him leaving, that I was prepared to assume that spot," Jones said. "Those who wanted to drive a wedge between me and him took that and ran with it, to go further, to say I was running against him."

Did the wedge work?

"Absolutely," Jones said of his relationship with Clarke now. "He has to look at me differently because of the rumor that was falsely spread."

Ah, rumormongers!

Enter Councilman Bobby Henon, a former political director for Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a union with strong political ties to both Clarke and Kenney.

Henon has his eye on the majority leader post.

Can we raise the stakes?

I asked Henon last week about another City Hall rumor: that this could be Clarke's last term.

Henon, who is unopposed on Tuesday's ballot as he seeks a second term, proceeded with caution.

"Speculation that far out is extremely premature," he said. "I am very happy and proud of my first term and look forward to my second term with the ambitions I have as majority leader."

Let's stop for a second to note that the councilmen mentioned so far - Clarke, Jones, Henon - are assured reelection Tuesday because nobody challenged them. No wonder they have time to calculate and plot.

And let's be clear about something everyone on Council should already understand: Nobody knows Clarke's mind about anything until he decides to share his thoughts.

Clarke declined to speculate about the majority leader's job last week, saying the selection for Council's top posts "is not a very public process."

Ah, transparency!

And Clarke said he has made no decision and has had no discussions about whether this will be his last term in office.

A competitive race for majority leader may have sparked that rumor, because the winner could be seen as an heir apparent for the Council presidency.

Not so fast, cautioned Clarke. He cited a history that does not support that notion.

"I don't think any majority leader is the odds-on favorite of becoming the next Council president," Clarke said.

Jones says he still has the best shot at the majority leader post, which pays $138,613 a year. That's $9,240 above the Council base salary of $129,373.

Fourteen of Council's 17 seats are likely to be won Tuesday by Democrats, making eight the number of votes needed to win the majority leader job.

"I believe at this point in time I have the most votes for majority leader," Jones said, declining to say just how many votes he believes he has.

What does Clarke The Unknowable say about the race for majority leader? He had a smile on his face when I tried one last time to get him to speculate.

"I don't think anyone has eight votes at this point," he said. "I've got a feeling I know where the buck is going to stop."