In the four-way Democratic primary race for the Second Councilmanic District seat currently held by retiring Council President Anna C. Verna, The Inquirer endorses KENYATTA JOHNSON.
As a state representative, Johnson, 39, has already ably represented the mostly South Philadelphia district in Harrisburg since he was elected to the legislature in 2008. He has a strong platform to promote public safety and would be able to hit the ground ready to work.
A Point Breeze native, Johnson is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government. He serves as the House Democrats’ deputy whip, and is vice chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee, and chairman of the Subcommittee on First Class Cities and Counties.
Johnson’s primary opponents are Damon K. Roberts, a Harvard University-educated lawyer who challenged Verna four years ago; Barbara Capozzi, a lawyer and real estate agent; and Tracey Gordon, a well-known block captain and community organizer.
Verna has held the seat since 1975. Her influence would carry considerable weight in this election, but she has not publicly endorsed a candidate. The winner will face Republican Ivan Cohen, who has no primary opponent.