The 2019 primary is a tale of two council races: the exciting, vibrant newcomers bringing energy to the at-large race, and the soporific district races, which could end up with reelected incumbents in every seat — including the seat of Bobby Henon, who was indicted in a federal corruption case a few months ago and is running unopposed. All ten incumbents are seeking reelection, with only five challenged.

We invited candidates in those districts to answer a questionnaire and participate in an endorsement interview.

The 3rd district has been represented by a Blackwell since 1975. Lucien Blackwell served the district until 1991, when his wife Jannie succeeded his seat. Blackwell is known for navigating the relationships between the large institutions in the district, and her constituents. The city of Philadelphia owes a debt to Blackwell for her decades of service, but it is time for a fresh start.

That fresh start would be well represented by Jamie Gauthier, an urban planner and the former head of the Fairmount Park Conservancy. Gauthier’s platform focuses on managing gentrification and bringing transparency to the decision making process around land disposition. Gauthier has the skills to make a fine Councilmember. Especially if, like Blackwell, she listens to the people she represents.