Councilwoman endorses third party candidate for same office

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym has endorsed a third party candidate for Council-at-large, the same office she is seeking as a Democrat, and it has angered the Democratic Party chair.

There are seven Council-at-large seats. Each party can nominate five candidates, which has always guaranteed two Republican seats. 

Two Working Families Party candidates hope to disrupt the process by taking just enough Democratic votes to defeat the Republicans and one of them, Kendra Brooks, has secured an important endorsement — Gym’s.  

Brooks has also been endorsed by three Democratic state representatives. But Democratic Party chair Bob Brady thinks it’s a mistake. 

“I’m not for any scheme that’s taking votes away from our Democratic nominees, and I wasn’t for any, even taking votes away from her. But if she’s so secure maybe she can give up her spot to the candidate she’s supporting,” Brady said. 

Related: A third party goes after traditionally Republican seats in Philly City Council

Brooks says the seven-to-one voter registration edge means Democrats have nothing to fear, as her target is Republicans. 

“Republicans have voted against paid sick leave, fair work week, they have always voted against working families, so I do not feel my fight is with the Democratic Party at all,” Brooks said. 

The Republican candidates have said they welcome the challenge.

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