The Lead

Working Families Party picks up a seat, O’Neill becomes lone Republican on Philadelphia City Council

By: - November 8, 2023 3:21 pm

A general view of Philadelphia City Hall beside the Convention Center June 17, 2023. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

The Working Families Party will have two members on Philadelphia City Council entering 2024.

Council Member Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O’Rourke bested Republicans Jim Hasher, a small business owner, and Drew Murray, a regional sales manager for a storage firm, for the two at-large seats reserved on Philadelphia City Council for the minority party.

“Since my election in 2019 our movement has only grown bigger and stronger, and no billionaire Republican or machine politicians could stop us,” Brooks said. “The Working Families Party isn’t just here to stay — we’re just getting started.” 

While Brooks has earned a second term on city council with her victory, this will be the first term for O’Rourke. 

“We just left the Republican Party to the dustbin of history by running on a positive vision for Philadelphia,” O’Rourke said. “Philly can be a city where everybody can get a good job, send their kids to a good school, and feel safe in their neighborhoods. 

Republican incumbent city council member Brian O’Neill also won on Tuesday, cruising to victory over Democrat Gary Masino, to earn his 12th term on council representing the 10th District covering parts of Northeast Philadelphia.

“Thank you to all of the residents of the 10th District who placed their confidence in me and delivered a strong victory this evening,” O’Neill’s campaign wrote on Facebook. “My pledge is the same as it has always been: I will put politics and partisanship aside to work for what’s right for the Far Northeast. Together, we will continue to help our families by working for good jobs, fiscal responsibility, and public safety.”

The results also include a few other firsts for Philadelphia City Council; . 

Rue Landau, a civic rights attorney, and Nina Ahmad, a former Deputy Mayor of Philadelphia, both won at-large seats. Landau will be the first openly LGBTQ+ member of city council, while Ahmad will the first South Asian member of the council.

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John Cole
John Cole

John Cole is a journalist based in Philadelphia. He's worked for various outlets such as The Northeast Times, PoliticsPA, and PCN. In these previous roles, he covered a wide range of topics from local civic association meetings to races across the commonwealth. He earned a degree in journalism from Temple University.