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 10 incumbents are seeking reelection, with only five challenged.

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

Representing the first district, our choice, Mark Squilla has been involved in some of the major policies in the past few years. He introduced the $15 minimum wage bill for the Mayor, supported the soda tax, and fought to secure funding from the administration for affordable housing during the construction tax saga. Squilla has been leading the discussion to find a solution to Philadelphia’s single-use plastic bag problem — which both harms the environment and makes the city unable to sell our recycling.

Squilla is being challenged by Lou Lanni — a former police officer who now works in real estate. Lanni’s campaign is limited almost entirely to cutting existing taxes and opposing new taxes.