City voters go to the polls Tuesday


Voters go to the polls Tuesday (April 6) to cast ballots in municipal primaries in several contested races that won’t be settled until the June 8 general election.

Two Republicans and three Democrats will be on the ballot for mayor.

Ward 2, Ward 3 and Alderman-at-Large positions have candidates in both Republican and Democrat primaries.

The Ward 4 position has four Democrats who will face an independent in the general election.

The Alderman-at-Large position has a Democrat and a Republican candidate, while only Ward 1 is unopposed.

Below is a rundown of candidates who will be on the ballot Tuesday.


Incumbent James Young, businessman Randy Gill and Cassie Henson Hickman face each other in the Democrat primary, while Republicans Robin Allen Sr. and Leo Renaldo will face off.

• Gill, a businessman who along with his wife, Beverly, owns McClelland’s Cafe and Gro., Inc., and R&B Properties, Inc., said working together is essential.

“As mayor, I will seek to partner with people of goodwill to move our city forwarded economically, politically, and socially,” Gill said in announcing his candidacy. 

Gill also said he will work with the county and Tribal governments to bring jobs to Neshoba County and to establish better education and to seek greater cooperation between county and city law enforcement. 

Among other things, Gill said he will work to promote “justice and equality for all and to renew hope in our great city.”

• Hickman, who is currently serving as Ward 4 alderman said if elected she would focus on, among other issues, improving relations between law enforcement and the community.

She said improving infrastructure, encouraging partnerships between public and private sectors to improve education and finding ways to provide affordable housing and creating more jobs are among her goals.

• Young, the incumbent, is seeking a fourth term and standing on his record of financial stability through strong management the last 12 years, he said in announcing his candidacy for re-election. 

His goals for the next four years, if elected, include economic development, seeking industry that brings middle to upper-income jobs, support for the bypass, continued support of downtown development and tourism.

Improving law enforcement, the railroad crossing on Ivy Street and completing the Booker T. Washington Gym project are among more specific goals.

• Republican Allen has not submitted a candidate announcement to the Democrat and could not be reached for comment.

• Republican Renaldo, retired former owner of Restaurant Services Inc., said he would like to serve the community. “I will work with all departments to make Philadelphia safer for its citizens,” Renaldo said in announcing his candidacy for mayor.

“I will work with other city leaders, with all of us working for the best interest of the citizens we represent. …I want to hear your concerns, your hopes, and the ways we can work to improve the quality of life for all citizens.”

Ward 1 Alderman

Republican Justin Lewis Clearman is the sole candidate for the Ward 1 position to fill the seat being vacated by Joe Tullos.

Ward 2 Alderman

Incumbent Republican Jim Fulton faces Democrat Mangold Washington III in the general election.

• Washington laid out his platform on social media saying, “We need true leadership. We need transparency. We need members of our city government that are honest, problem solvers, quality driven, humble, diverse, proactive and team oriented. I am certain that I possess all of these qualities.”

• Republican Fulton, the incumbent, said he wants to continue to serve and make Philadelphia a better place.

“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Philadelphia and in particular the residents of Ward 2 as your alderman for two terms,” Fulton said in announcing his decision to run for re-election. “… It is my desire to continue working to make Ward 2 and the City of Philadelphia a better place to live, work, worship and raise our families.”

Ward 3 Alderman

Democrats James Tatum and Darryl M. Young face each other in the Democrat primary. The winner will face Republican Wright Griffis to fill the seat being vacated by Ronnie Jenkins.

• Tatum has not submitted a candidate announcement to the Democrat and could not be reached for comment.

• Darryl M. Young has not submitted a candidate announcement to the Democrat and could not be reached for comment.

• Republican Griffis, vice president of Griffis Motors Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership in Philadelphia and manager the parts and service departments, said he would like to put his business experience to work for the city. 

“Like you, Philadelphia is very important to me also,” Griffis said in announcing his candidacy. “Our jobs, our homes, our kids’ education and our community are all what keeps us working for a better tomorrow. We have too much invested, so we refuse to give up on Philadelphia for brighter lights and bigger cities.”

Ward 4 Alderman

Four Democrats are vying for the Ward 4 seat in the primary and will face independent candidate Shaun Seales in the general election.

• Democrat Ruthie Nash has lived in Philadelphia all her life. “…Our neighborhood is getting out of control,” Nash said in announcing her candidacy. “I cannot stop what is going on, but I will work with the board and our community people, and we can try to come up with a solution to solve some of the problems.”

• Democrat Ajatha Nichols is the former owner and director of Nichols Nursery/Daycare. “I believe in community and community progress. I am a team builder and most of all, a team player,” Nichols said in announcing her candidacy. 

“I can work with the Mayor and the Board of Alderman in order to get things done for our city as a whole and specifically for Ward 4. I can serve the people because I know the people. If elected, I will continue to move forward into a bigger and better community.”

• Democrat Rudolph Tatum, a Philadelphia School bus operator, is retired from the city of Chicago. “I am ready and willing to serve Ward 4, and I have plenty of experience,” Tatum said in his campaign announcement.

• Democrat Shanayah Carter, a 2000 graduate of Neshoba Central, a substitute teacher and a part-time employee of Dollar Tree, has not submitted a candidate announcement to the Democrat but has announced her candidacy on social media posts.

“I am looking forward to being A new “VOICE” heard for the people in the City of Philadelphia!” Carter wrote in a Facebook post announcing her candidacy. “There is a need for New Growth & New Improvements!”


Incumbent Democrat Leroy Clemons will face Republican James Carson Waltman in the general election.

Clemons said in announcing his re-eletion, “If you can see the future in the way that I do, and if you also believe in a better Philadelphia for all, please join me in continuing to work to make the city of Philadelphia a safe, thriving, economically viable, sustainable city for all our families.”

Waltman, is the former owner of the Cole House Bed & Breakfast and the Chevron Food Mart on Holland Avenue and says he has a strong desire to serve the city and help make it better.

“I know there are many concerns within our community such as our public schools, community safety, business/ industry recruitment and retention, accountability in leadership, fiscal responsibility and overall quality of life issues that need to be addressed,” Waltman said in announcing his candidacy. 

“As Alderman-at-Large I will work collectively with fellow community leaders to listen to our citizens and work hard to produce valuable results that benefit every segment of our city, not just a few.”

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

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