Tartaglione cruises to nomination in 2d District

Christine Tartaglione celebrates with family and supporters as election results are announced at the Regal Ballroom.
Christine Tartaglione celebrates with family and supporters as election results are announced at the Regal Ballroom. (MATTHEW HALL / Staff Photographer)
Posted: May 22, 2014

In a bitter three-way race that involved some of the city's most powerful political players, State Sen. Christine Tartaglione cruised to a surprisingly easy victory in the Democratic primary Tuesday.

She collected slightly more than half of the vote in the Second Senatorial District, which stretches from Kensington to Fox Chase, besting Daniel Savage, a former City Council member, and Tomas Sánchez, husband of Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez.

The rough-and-tumble race featured big money, prominent endorsements, and plenty of attack ads. The district also was one of the hottest areas in the city for complaints of election shenanigans, said Ellen Mattleman Kaplan of the watchdog group Committee of Seventy.

From her party at the Regal Ballroom on Oxford Avenue, Tartaglione said she had been confident of victory. "I knew what our polling said," she said. "I did my job as a senator. I have a good record that I'm proud of . . . and they're sending me back for four more years."

She also said her win served as a rebuke to Local 98 labor leader John J. Dougherty Jr. who supported Savage.

Although Tartaglione had a slew of labor endorsements, Local 98 contributed $100,000 to Savage's campaign.

"Labor drew a line in the sand and said, 'No more John Dougherty,' " Tartaglione said. "I think every labor union in the state was out in the district."

Most of the election complaints in the district - harassing voters, campaign literature inside polling places, election workers violating the 10-foot buffer - came from the Sánchez and Savage camps, directed at Tartaglione, Kaplan said.

The committee also fielded a complaint about a Savage supporter confronting Tartaglione election workers in Frankford, she said.

"It was crazy all day long," Kaplan said.

The committee forwarded a number of complaints to the District Attorney's Office, which was investigating, she said.

Tartaglione will face Republican John Jenkins in the general election.

In addition to Tomas Sánchez, three of Councilwoman Sánchez's former staffers were running in the Democratic primary for state House seats. Of those, only Jason Dawkins appeared poised for victory. With more than 96 percent of the vote counted in a district centered on Frankford, Dawkins held a slim lead over one-term State Rep. James Clay.

Quetcy Lozada faced perhaps the biggest challenge, going against State Rep. Angel Cruz in neighborhoods around North Philadelphia and Kensington. Cruz won handily.

The final member of the Sánchez slate, Danilo Burgos, was running in neighborhoods around Hunting Park for the seat held by State Rep. J.P. Miranda, who is facing political-corruption charges. Leslie Acosta, however, won that race with the endorsement of the Democratic Party. Former State Rep. Ralph Acosta is her father.

In other closely contested races in the city:

State Rep. Mark Cohen defeated challenger Jared Solomon in Northeast Philadelphia.

State Rep. Pamela Delissio, who engendered controversy by listing her Harrisburg home as her primary residence, kept her seat representing Roxborough and surrounding neighborhoods against a challenge from Dave Henderson.




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