Ten minor-party candidates are angling to win City Council seats in the general election.
Candidates from five minor parties filed their nomination petitions with the Board of Elections by Thursday’s deadline to get on the ballot, according to the unofficial tally.
No third-party candidates filed petitions for the other offices up for election this year, including the mayor, sheriff, register of wills or city commissioners.
With the deadline passed, challenges to kick candidates off the ballot over their paperwork will now begin. The court challenges will take weeks to be settled.
Four candidates filed petitions as members of the Independent Party: Joe Cox for an at-large seat, Clarc King for an at-large seat, Karla Cruel for the District 4 seat (currently held by Curtis Jones Jr.) and Greg Paulmier for the District 8 seat (currently held by Cindy Bass).
Libertarian Party candidates Maj Toure, running for an at-large seat, and Matt Baltsar, also running for the District 4 Council seat, also filed petitions.
Kendra Brooks and Nicolas O’Rourke filed petitions for at-large seats as members of the Working Families Parity. Both candidates are former Democrats who changed their party affiliations to run on the Working Families ticket.
Sherrie Cohen, daughter of late City Councilman David Cohen, also filed petitions under A Better Council Party. Cohen dropped out of the Democratic at-large City Council primary earlier this year over comments her campaign manager made about the ethnicity of another candidate. Sherrie Cohen has run two previous unsuccessful bids for City Council.
Steve Cherniavsky filed a petition for an at-large seat as a member of the Term Limits Philadelphia Party.
The two major political parties — Democratic and Republican — held their primary elections in May.
On Wednesday, Brooks and O’Rourke gathered more than 20 supporters, including state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-181) at City Hall to submit their nomination petitions.
Brooks, 47, who lives in the Nicetown neighborhood, said they were running on the issues of housing, employment and education.
“It’s time for working people to take back this city,” said Brooks, a community organizer and educator at the nonprofit At Your Reach, which she founded.
O’Rourke, 30, who lives in West Philadelphia, said the city’s primary focus ought to be reducing its 26% poverty rate, the highest among big cities in the nation.
O’Rourke, who stepped away as a community organizer for the interfaith organization POWER to run for office, added that Republicans now holding two at-large City Council seats represent a minority of residents in the city.
“Giving these two seats away to two people who are only for a small segment of the core of this city and not for the many is a shame,” said O’Rourke, a pastor at Living Water United Church of Christ.
Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a nearly 7:1 ratio. On City Council, Democrats hold nine of the 10 district seats and five of the seven at-large seats. Two at-large seats on the governing body are reserved for members of minority parties, and those seats have been held by members of the GOP for decades.
Incumbent City Councilmen David Oh and Al Taubenberg were among the top five finishers in the GOP primary along with Dan Tinney, Matt Wolfe and Bill Heeney.
The Working Families Party has endorsed candidates in past elections local and state elections, including District Attorney Larry Krasner, a Democrat. In this year’s election, the party has endorsed at-large City Council candidates Helen Gym, an incumbent, and Isaiah Thomas, both Democrats.
But this will mark Working Families Party’s first attempt at putting up its own candidates for city office, says Vanessa Clifford, an operative for Working Families who attended the rally.
Clifford brushed aside concerns that running progressive candidates will siphon away votes from Democratic candidates and put more Republican’s on the 17-member City Council.
“It’s actually an outrageous gap,” she said about the difference between the votes for Democrats over Republicans.
In the 2015 election, more than 100,000 votes separated Democratic at-large candidates from Republicans.
Tim Dowling, a deputy city commissioner under City Commissioner Lisa Deeley, said he could not recall third-party candidate winning a major elected office in Philadelphia during the past three decades.
Dowling noted a third-party candidate running under the Modern Whig Party won a minor office in 2013 as a judge of elections in a Northeast ward.