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Trade unions backing Kilkenny in 177th

Sean Kilkenny, a Democratic candidate in the 177th Legislative District, last week was unanimously endorsed by the Philadelphia Building Trades Council.


By Tom Waring

Sean Kilkenny, a Democratic candidate in the 177th Legislative District, last week was unanimously endorsed by the Philadelphia Building Trades Council.

The Philadelphia building trades include sheet metal workers, boilermakers, bricklayers and allied craftworkers, plasterers and cement masons, electricians, elevator constructors, insulators and allied workers, iron workers, laborers, operating engineers, painters and allied trades, plumbers, roofers, sprinkler fitters, steamfitters and Teamsters.

“I would like to thank the building trades for their unanimous support,” Kilkenny said. “Being a member of the building trades for 16 years, I am humbled by the abundance of labor support that I have received in such a short time. There are a lot of highlighted issues right now but the fight for working families is not highlighted enough. I will be the voice for all working families and unions. Organized labor made me into the man that I am today. Stronger labor is essential for the success of the working families in my district.”

Kilkenny is a graduate of St. Matthew Elementary School and Father Judge High School. He coaches basketball at St. Matt’s and is a member of the Mayfair Civic Association.

Kilkenny became an apprentice with Plasterers’ Union Local 8 in 2001. He was elected to the Plasterers’ executive board in 2004, serving for 11 years. He was appointed an international field representative in 2006, traveling the country fighting for livable wages and safe working standards. Today, he is a member of the Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Local 592.

His platform includes a higher minimum wage, increased resources to address the opiate epidemic, funding to hire more police officers and fairer unemployment compensation.

Kilkenny plans a fundraiser on Jan. 6 at Sprinkler Fitters Local 692.

Republican Rep. John Taylor is not seeking another term.

Other Democrats running are Maggie Borski, a law student and daughter of former congressman Bob Borski; immigration lawyer Joe Hohenstein, who took about 45 percent of the vote last year against Taylor; Sean Patrick Wayland, who served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve and spent time in Iraq in 2008; and Justin Salmasi, who is raising money on CrowdPac.

Likely candidates are Tom Forkin, an aide to state Rep. Mike Driscoll and chairman of the 55th Ward Democratic Committee, and community activist Dan Martino.

Others who’ve said they are considering runs are Harry Enggasser, a ward leader, aide to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, two-time challenger to Taylor and president of the Bridesburg Civic Association; and Patty-Pat Kozlowski, director of park stewardship at the city Department of Parks and Recreation and a former top aide to late Councilwoman Joan Krajewski.

Other Democrats mentioned include Sean K. McMonagle, an aide to Councilman Mark Squilla, and former Councilman Dan Savage.

Possible Republican candidates include Kozlowski; Chris Vogler, Republican leader of the 55th Ward; Pete Smith, a community activist from Tacony and Wharton School graduate; and Brian Caputo, a former aide to Councilman Brian O’Neill.


One of Kilkenny’s primary opponents, Maggie Borski, held a fundraiser/campaign announcement last week at Richmond Hall.

Borski, 24, was introduced by her older sister, Jen Kennedy.

“Everything Maggie does, she gives 110 percent,” Kennedy said.

Borski will focus her campaign on public education, working families, the opioid epidemic and passing a budget on time.

“I will work tirelessly and I will fight for you every step of the way,” she told supporters.

Borski, who has lived in Bridesburg for four years, will graduate law school on May 17, two days after the primary. She will attend school part time in her final semester.

After Taylor declined to run again, she considered a run and made a final decision after her internship ended with the district attorney’s office on Nov. 29.

“I’ve wanted to serve people my whole life. I’ve always felt the drive to represent people. Why not me? Why not now?”

Among those at the event was Marty Bednarek, former Democratic leader of the 64th Ward and Borski’s former basketball coach for the Northeast Rockers. Lorri Bednarek, Marty’s wife, is the current ward leader, and Borski hopes to receive her endorsement.

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