COUNCIL PRESIDENT CLARKE ISSUES WRITS TO HOLD SPECIAL ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER TO FILL AT LARGE COUNCIL VACANCIES

In Council News, News by PHL Council

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PHILADELPHIA — Council President Darrell L. Clarke today issued Writs for Special Elections to be held to fill vacancies for two At Large seats in City Council. The special elections will be held on Election Day on Tuesday, November 8th.

The vacancies for At Large seats on Council occurred when Councilmembers Allan Domb and Derek Green resigned recently to explore candidacies for Mayor of Philadelphia.

Under the city’s Home Rule Charter, when a vacancy occurs in the office of a Councilmember, it falls upon the Council President to issue a writ to the local board of elections to hold a special election to fill the vacancy for the balance of the unexpired term – in this case, through December 2023.

Council President Clarke signed and issued writs for the special elections to fill these At Large Council seats, which were transmitted today to the Office of the City Commissioners, who supervise all elections in Philadelphia.

Today’s action follows a similar action last week, when Council President Clarke issued writs for special elections to fill vacancies in two district Council seats, which occurred when Councilmember Maria D. Quiñones Sánchez (7th District) and Majority Leader Cherelle L. Parker (9th District) resigned to consider runs for Mayor. Those special elections will also take place November 8th.

“We understand our responsibilities under the Home Rule Charter, and today we are taking the appropriate steps under city law to issue writs for special elections to fill two At Large Council seats in the General Election on November 8th,” Council President Clarke said.The Council President’s action in issuing writs for special elections for At Large seats followed a Meeting in City Council at which Mayor Kenney vetoed a bill concerning a neighborhood overlay for the 9th District – legislation originally sponsored by now-former Councilmember Parker.

Overriding a mayoral veto requires 12 Council votes; Council now has 13 members, following the recent resignations. Council’s full, usual complement is 17 members.

“It is vitally important that City Council be able to conduct its business, whether that is passing legislation, considering an override of a mayor’s veto, or even legislation to change the Home Rule Charter,” Clarke said. “For all these reasons, I believe it’s incumbent that Council have a full complement of members as soon as possible.”

Clarke also noted the possibility that other, current Councilmembers may also be considering resigning their seats to run for mayor next year.

“We need as many City Councilmembers as possible to consider and do the people’s business – reducing poverty, preventing gun violence, creating jobs – every issue confronting our city,” Clarke said.

The political parties in Philadelphia will nominate candidates to run in the November special elections, and those nominees will appear on the Election Day ballot. The winners will serve the remainder of the unexpired terms through December 2023.

Clarke said Council will welcome whomever the voters elect as Councilmembers in the special elections. “We have urgent issues confronting our city, and we’ll keep doing our jobs for the people of Philadelphia,” he said.

All 17 seats in Council will be up for election next year, in the May Primary and November General Election.

“It’s important that our elections be as open and democratic as possible,” Clarke said. “I expect a full, robust process of candidates and voters considering all their options next year.”

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