Weather may factor in primary turnout

With wet weather expected, a few thousand voters could decide a number of key races in today’s Philadelphia primary election.

The headlines are T. Milton Street Sr. hoping to derail Mayor Michael Nutter’s re-election bid, and four open City Council seats. There are also races for sheriff, city commissioners and judges at every level of Pennsylvania’s courts.

Candidates made a last-minute push yesterday to reach voters they hope will turn out at the polls.

“I think people who always vote are going to vote. It’s certainly my hope because it’s a very important election,” said Maria McLaughlin, who’s running for judge in the Court of Common Pleas, as she lobbied people in front of the Clothespin statue.

At a standard day-before Election press conference, District Attorney Seth Williams said prosecutors from his office will be paying particular attention to intense races in the sixth, seventh and eighth Councilmanic districts.

“Most of the problems that are occur are not fraud or intimidation or evil-doing, but pretty simple stuff,” said Zack Stalberg, president and CEO of Committee of Seventy, a government watchdog which will have about 400 volunteers monitoring the polls.

Anyone who has problems voting can call Committee of Seventy at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or the District Attorney’s Office at 215-686-9641.

About the candidates

Since early April, Metro has covered several of today’s contested races. You can read about Mayor Michael Nutter and challenger T. Milton Street Sr., and candidates in the City Council at-large candidates and those in the First, Second, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Districts.

Brian Hickey’s blog will be updated regularly throughout today. Coverage starts after 7 a.m. when Nutter votes at the John C. Anderson Cultural Center at 54th and Overbrook and Street does so at the Robbins and Braus avenues polling place in Northeast Philadelphia.

It culminates with mayoral “victory” parties of Karen Brown (Smoke Eaters, 7681 Frankford Ave.), Nutter (Warwick Hotel, 220 S. 17th St.) and Street (District Council 33 headquarters, 31st and Walnut streets). Republican candidate John Featherman’s plans were not available yesterday.

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