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Matt Wolfe is the Republican Leader of the ward that encompasses a large portion of Penn’s campus.

Credit: Courtesy of Matt Wolfe

On Wednesday, Penn alumnus and former Deputy Attorney General Matt Wolfe announced his candidacy for a City Council at-large Republican seat. Wolfe is the third Penn alum to enter the race, after Democrats Sherrie Cohen, an attorney, and Helen Gym, an education activist. Wolfe will be competing for one of two minority party seats against two incumbents. Cohen and Gym will each be competing for one of five majority party seats, although four current members have entered the race. 

Since 1979, Wolfe has been the Republican Leader of Philadelphia’s 27th Ward, which encompasses a large portion of Penn’s campus. Philly is split up into 66 wards, with the Democratic and Republican City Committees electing each ward leader. Wolfe is also the chairman of the University City Republican Committee. 

“Philadelphia is a great city,” reads Wolfe’s campaign website. “Even in some of the poorer neighborhoods you see new homes being built. There is a market despite our oppressive tax rates, irrational tax structure, corruption, and mismanagement and misplaced priorities. With real leadership the city could thrive.”

His campaign website also lists “City Priorities,” which include public safety, public education, sanitation and maintenance of the transportation infrastructure.

Philadelphia’s City Council at-large includes five open seats for Democrats and two open seats for Republicans this election cycle. Wolfe joins a crowded cast of candidates for the two Republican seats, including incumbent Councilmen At-Large Dennis O’Brien and David Oh, Former Police Office and Realtor Lou Lanni and head track coach at Cheyney University James Williams.

Wolfe previously ran for City Council at-large in a May special election following the resignation of City Councilman Bill Green. Wolfe received 15 percent of the vote and lost significantly to Democrat Ed Nielson, who received 79 percent.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Williams' title as former Deputy Attorney General. The DP regrets the error.

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