Mar 24, 2022 - Politics

Philly's special election set for Bobby Henon's City Council seat

Illustration of a "vote" pin as a boxing ring bell
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The special election to fill the seat vacated by disgraced City Councilperson Bobby Henon will be held May 17 — the same as the state primary.

Driving the news: Council President Darrell Clarke announced the date on Wednesday for the special election to determine who will fill the remainder of Henon's term in the 6th District, around 18 months.

Flashback: Henon was found guilty of federal corruption-related crimes in November. He's facing 20 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

  • Henon, who held the seat since 2012, resigned in January.

State of play: The 6th District seat will represent several neighborhoods in Northeast Philadelphia, including Tacony, Holmesburg, Bridesburg,and Port Richmond, among others.

  • Voters will also weigh in on races for Pennsylvania's governor, lieutenant governor and U.S. Congress, among others, in the May primary.
  • Register to vote on the state's website.

Zoom in: State Rep. Mike Driscoll, whom Democratic ward leaders selected as their candidate, is considered the favorite to win the election due to the overwhelming number of registered Democratic voters in the district.

  • "I look forward to bringing some fresh blood to City Council," he told Axios. "I'm all in for this special [election] and all in for next year."
  • Driscoll also said he will not seek election for his 173rd state House seat next year.

State Rep. Martina White, chair of the Philadelphia Republican Party, did not immediately return a call seeking comment about whether the GOP had selected a candidate.

What's next: The city's political parties have until April 7 to officially register their candidates with the Board of Elections.

  • Independent candidates can also vie for the seat, but they must circulate nominating petitions.
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