Republicans fight to stay afloat on Philadelphia City Council

The Working Families Party is competing for two at-large seats on Philadelphia City Council, while a Republican incumbent faces a Democratic union leader in the 10th District.

By: - November 7, 2023 6:15 am

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

As voters head to the polls Tuesday, Republicans in Philadelphia are aiming to keep a presence on City Council

Democrat Gary Masino, president of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, is attempting to unseat Council Member Brian O’Neill, a Republican who is seeking his 12th four-year term in the 10th City Council District, which covers parts of Northeast Philadelphia. 

Public safety has been at the forefront of the campaign. 

O’Neill, the lone incumbent Republican on Philadelphia City Council seeking reelection in 2023, touts an endorsement from Philadelphia FOP Lodge 5. Attack ads have also linked Masino to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner for a donation Local 19 made to Krasner’s campaign in 2017. Although Krasner cruised to reelection in 2021, he struggled in parts of Northeast Philadelphia against Republican challenger Chuck Peruto, including wards in the 10th City Council District. 

Masino has labeled O’Neill as a career politician who has not provided adequate support for public safety initiatives. Masino has the support of Gov. Josh Shapiro, who has campaigned for him in the district. 

David Oh was the last remaining at-large Republican on City Council, but resigned earlier this year to run for mayor.

Drew Murray, a regional sales manager for a storage firm, and Jim Hasher, a small business owner, are Republicans running for the two at-large seats reserved for the council’s minority party. Two Working Families Party candidates, Kendra Brooks, an incumbent elected in 2019 and Nicolas O’Rourke, a pastor, are also running for the two at-large seats. 

Philadelphia Democratic City Committee Chair Bob Brady has clashed with some Democratic ward leaders for publicly supporting candidates running under The Working Families Party banner. 

If Brooks, Masino, and O’Rourke win, it would be the first time in Philadelphia modern history there won’t be a Republican on City Council. 

This story will be updated throughout the day on Tuesday. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your polling place, click here. If you encounter difficulty voting or want to share your election day experience, email us at [email protected] with the subject line “Election Day 2023.”

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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.