With Democratic power brokers overwhelmingly backing Savage, a fellow ward leader, Sánchez has a tough battle. But she has proven to be a scrappy fighter. Sánchez, 42, handily defeated Savage in the primary four years ago. He had held the seat for 13 months after Councilman Rick Mariano was sent to jail for corruption.
This campaign has been sidetracked by nasty and petty attacks about tax returns and residency. That's disappointing given the more weighty issues in one of the city's poorest and most gerrymandered districts, which includes parts of Center City, North Philadelphia, Kensington, Frankford, Fairhill, Hunting Park, Juniata Park, Castor, Rhawnhurst, and Bustleton.
In the four-way Democratic primary race for the Second Councilmanic District seat currently held by retiring Council President Anna C. Verna, The Inquirer endorses KENYATTA JOHNSON
As a state representative, Johnson, 39, has already ably represented the mostly South Philadelphia district in Harrisburg since he was elected to the legislature in 2008. He has a strong platform to promote public safety and would be able to hit the ground ready to work.
A Point Breeze native, Johnson is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government. He serves as the House Democrats' deputy whip, vice chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee, and chairman of the Subcommittee on First Class Cities and Counties.
Johnson's primary opponents are Damon K. Roberts, a Harvard University-educated lawyer who challenged Verna four years ago; Barbara Capozzi, a lawyer and real estate agent; and Tracey Gordon, a well-known block captain and community organizer.
Verna has held the seat since 1975. Her influence would carry considerable weight in this election, but she has not publicly endorsed a candidate. The winner will face Republican Ivan Cohen, who has no primary opponent.