Carol Campbell [PICTURED], Philadelphia’s newest councilwoman, sat with a benevolent smile on her face, ringed by a crush of supporters paying their respects. Stacked four deep, they plied her with kisses that left her cheeks stained with lipstick, and whispered words of congratulations into her ear.
“Wait ’til you get a load of her,” said U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D., Pa.) as he introduced the new Fourth District representative and fellow freshman Council members William Greenlee and Daniel Savage at a City Hall swearing-in session yesterday afternoon.
Philadelphia’s political class, led by Brady, used the occasion to celebrate the virtues of family connections, political alliances, and party obedience.
By those standards, Campbell – a powerful ward leader, a Brady ally, and the daughter of a former councilman – has it all. And because of this, some Council members have awaited her arrival with anxiety, worried about just what she plans to do.
Yesterday, after arriving at Council chambers 15 minutes late for the ceremony, Campbell extended a preemptive olive branch.
“I come in peace to this Council,” she said. “I come with energy, total commitment, tenacity, perseverance, and affection for the people I represent.”
Afterward, Campbell said she had no plans to step down as secretary of the Democratic Party. She was also unsure if she would quit her political consulting business, which collects tens of thousands of dollars from candidates for city office.
“The district is priority, but the party must come first,” she said, explaining that the party helps minorities succeed.
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