Sánchez deserves new term in Seventh

Maria Quiñones Sánchez (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

One of the hottest Democratic primary races is in the Seventh Councilmanic District, where Daniel Savage seeks to reclaim the seat he lost in 2007.

Both candidates know the issues. But the incumbent has proven to be a thoughtful force for positive change not only in her district but for the entire city. The Inquirer endorses MARIA QUIÑONES SÁNCHEZ. The first Hispanic woman on City Council has gained respect for avoiding machine politics.

Sánchez has shown an independent streak. At her first Council meeting, she cosponsored a bill to eliminate the costly deferred retirement program for city workers known as DROP. She and fellow freshman Councilman Bill Green have proposed an ambitious plan to overhaul the city tax structure.

With Democratic power brokers overwhelmingly backing Savage, a fellow ward leader, Sánchez has a tough battle. But she has proven to be a scrappy fighter. Sánchez, 42, handily defeated Savage in the primary four years ago. He had held the seat for 13 months after Councilman Rick Mariano was sent to jail for corruption.

This campaign has been sidetracked by nasty and petty attacks about tax returns and residency. That’s disappointing given the more weighty issues in one of the city’s poorest and most gerrymandered districts, which includes parts of Center City, North Philadelphia, Kensington, Frankford, Fairhill, Hunting Park, Juniata Park, Castor, Rhawnhurst, and Bustleton.