The ballot for Tuesday’s special election in North Philly’s 197th House District showed just one candidate’s name: Republican Lucinda Little. But at the end of the day, she had only managed to capture 7 percent of the total vote.
Write-in candidates – of which there are at least two strong contenders – garnered 2,483 votes, while Little claimed just under 200.
Still, we’re far from knowing the victor of what has been the increasingly unusual race to succeed former state Rep. Leslie Acosta, who stepped down in January as a result of her confession to a felony misdemeanor.
The City Commissioner’s office will not complete its official tally of write-in votes until Friday.
The city’s Democratic Party, despite having an 85 percent voter advantage in the district, was forced to run a write-in campaign for Emilio Vazquez after a judge bounced Freddie Ramirez, their original nominee, from the ballot for failing to meet residency requirements.
“The Republicans want to take this district over like they did in the Northeast,” Vazquez said Tuesday outside of his polling place, referring to the successful appointment of Rep. Martina White through a special election in 2015. “Whatever way you cut it, people want a Democratic representative. That’s all they want.”
But there was also a fierce write-in effort from Green Party-backed candidate Cheri Honkala, who was kept off the ballot after her party missed the filing date for her nomination.
All day Tuesday, supporters of the respective candidates were stationed outside the polling places on both sides of Broad Street, handing out ink stamps that spelled “Cheri Honkala” and “Emilio Vazquez” to better facilitate the write-in process.
Democrat Edward Lloyd also ran a write-in campaign. The total number of other write-in candidates remains unclear.
Little could not be reached for comment. This article will be updated with more information.
Max Marin is a staff writer at Philadelphia Weekly, where this article first appeared.