Saturday, September 20, 2014
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Milton's on top; judge candidates dwindle; a new Brady challenger?

There were some last-minute changes made in the hours leading up to this morning's approval of the design of the primary ballot by the acting city commissioners.

Milton's on top; judge candidates dwindle; a new Brady challenger?

There were some last-minute changes made in the hours leading up to this morning's approval of the design of the primary ballot by the acting city commissioners.

But first, what didn't change: Thomas M. Street - as Milton's name will officially appear on the May 17 ballot - is listed above that of Mayor Nutter's. That positioning is a result of a lottery in which Street drew a higher number than did the mayor. Street's ballot number is formally 163; Nutter's is 164.

Now for what did change.

John Christmas dropped his bid for Common Pleas Court. He returned Monday to work as chief legislative counsel to City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.

Also withdrawing from the Common Pleas race was Marvin Williams. However, Williams is still a candidate for Municipal Court, where he drew the No. 1 ballot position on the Democratic side, giving him an edge over his party's 10 other contenders for the court's single vacancy.

Williams won't be competiting, though, with Jim Divergilis. Cross-listed as a Democratic and Republican nominee, Divergilis has decided not to vye for the Municipal Court opening. However, he is still running for Common Pleas Court, again as a nominee for both parties.

Lastly, here's another name you won't be seeing on the ballot: Joyce Eubanks. Even though Eubanks received the much sought-after endorsement of Philadelphia's Democratic Party, city election officials said she is withdrawing as a candidate for Common Pleas Court.

But that doesn't mean Eubanks won't soon be wearing a robe - again. (Former Gov. Rendell had named her to fill a Common Pleas court vacancy in what turned out to be a controversial appointment.)

Eubanks, an aide to the late City Councilwoman and Philadelphia Democratic Party Secretary Carol Ann Campbell, is rumored to become the Democratic Party's nominee to fill a vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore. Moore is no longer seeking a new term in November, when he otherwise would have been on the ballot for retention. Each political party will nominate a candidate instead.

Expect, though, to possibly hear more from Moore, who has served since 2000. Some politicos tell us they've heard that Moore - who recently moved to West Philadelphia from Strawberry Mansion - may challenge U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, the chairman of the city's Democratic Party - and the supposed mastermind behind many of these judicial chess moves.

Moore, in an interview, said little about his plans. "I've decided I'm going to do something else," he said.

 Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Troy Graham and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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