And the nominees are . . .
Former State Rep. Harold James and Democratic ward leader Gary Williams are odds-on favorites to become state House members in late April or early May – but their tenures in Harrisburg figure to be short, just six or seven months each.
Each has secured the backing of Democratic ward leaders to run in special elections scheduled for April 24, in heavily-Democratic districts – in James’s case, to finish the term of new City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, and in Williams, to complete the term of city sheriff Jewell Williams (no relation).
But neither of the new candidates is running in the simultaneous primary election to continue into the next legislative term, next January. Gary Williams, 57, a former aide to Councilman Darrell Clarke and state Rep. Michelle Brownlee, was knocked off the primary ballot by a petition challenge, and James, 70, a former policeman who served in the House from 1989 through 2008, signed withdrawal papers last week (though he told the Inquirer he hadn’t made up his mind).