ON MONDAY, PHILADELPHIA City Council Member Helen Gym, a Democrat, endorsed Kendra Brooks, who is backed by the progressive Working Families Party in her campaign for City Council. The local Democratic Party was incensed by the endorsement, which Bob Brady, chair of the Democratic City Committee, said was “stupid,” reasoning that it would hurt Democrats by taking votes away from their slate of candidates.
There are 32 candidates running in the November election for City Council, a 17-person body with 14 Democrats and 3 Republicans. Brooks is running as an independent for one of two open at-large seats reserved for minority or unaffiliated candidates, which have long been held by the GOP. The Working Families Party — which operates as a progressive electoral organizing body in some states, and an official third party in others — is also backing Nicolas O’Rourke, another independent candidate and longtime community organizer, in hopes of one day building a progressive majority on the City Council.