Final Council tally: It's a go for Oh

Posted: November 16, 2011

THERE WILL BE no repeat of the nightmare for attorney David Oh, who was ahead in the voting on election night four years ago but lost a seat on City Council after absentee ballots were tallied.

Oh yesterday officially bested Al Taubenberger in last week's general election for one of two Republican Council at-large seats, after absentee, military and provisional ballots were counted.

In the final tally, Oh led by 166 votes.

A count yesterday of 755 provisional ballots, used on Election Day when there are questions about a voter's registration, did not put Taubenberger ahead.

Oh said that he was not surprised by the narrow margin of victory but that it was unclear what impact a barrage of negative mailings, radio ads and robo-calls had on him in the closing week of his campaign.

That barrage was critical of Oh for misleading voters about his military record and for an arrest on gun charges in the 1990s that ended with an acquittal after a nonjury Municipal Court trial.

"I think that there were a lot of good candidates," he said. "It was a very vigorous campaign."

The negative publicity was paid for by a political-action committee controlled by Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which supported Joe McColgan, another Republican in the race.

Taubenberger said it was too early to say if he would run again.

"Nobody likes to lose," said Taubenberger, head of the Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, after conceding the loss and congratulating Oh. "The results are the results."

State Rep. Denny O'Brien took first place out of five candidates for two Council at-large seats set aside in the city charter for the minority political party.