Neilson slides to victory for vacant Council seat

Posted: May 22, 2014

FOR MONTHS, it had been surmised that Democrat Ed Neilson was a shoo-in to finish out now-SRC Chairman Bill Green's at-large City Council term, and as election results trickled in late last night, that conjecture proved accurate.

With 85 percent of the vote tallied, Neilson trounced Republican Matt Wolfe by more than 43,000 votes.

"I don't take anything for granted. I covered all corners of the city today and probably visited over 100 voter precincts. I also didn't underestimate my opponent," said Neilson, who spent about $60,000 to get elected.

Wolfe played an aggressive hand early on, but ultimately came up short. Libertarian candidate Nikki Allen Poe got only 5 percent of the vote.

Neilson was elected to the state House in 2012, representing a large constituency in Northeast Philly. Prior to that, he had served as political boss to IBEW's Local 98 chapter and later as deputy labor secretary for then-Gov. Ed Rendell.

Ballot questions

Earlier this month, Mayor Nutter signed an executive order raising the wage rate for city contractors and subcontractors from $10.88 to $12 an hour.

That measure, put to the voters in a ballot question, passed yesterday with more than 75 percent of the vote, giving City Council the power to force companies that do business with the city to pay their workers a higher wage.

Also winning voter approval yesterday was a charter amendment giving City Council greater authority in offering city contracts for legal representation to indigent people who are required to be represented by an attorney in matters involving criminal or juvenile-justice proceedings. The measure would require Council approval by ordinance and apply to all contracts costing $100,000 or more over one year or less.

Failing to pass yesterday was a measure that would have ended the city's 63-year-old resign-to-run rule, which prohibits politicians from seeking another elected office while holding one.

On Twitter: @RuffTuffDH

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