Ed Neilson

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Ed Neilson
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 169th district
Assumed office
May 8, 2012
Preceded by Denny O'Brien
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Doris
Children Five
Residence Northeast Philadelphia
Alma mater Saint Joseph's University[1]
Occupation Politician, Union official
Website Representative Ed Neilson

Edward "Ed" Neilson is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party. In April of 2012, he won a special election to represent the 169th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Early life and education[edit]

A native of Northeast Philadelphia, Neilson is a graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School and Saint Joseph's University.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Neilson is a former political director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)'s Local 98 chapter. He went on to serve as Deputy State Labor Secretary under Governor Ed Rendell, and eventually became director of business development and government relations at Chartwell Law Offices.[3]

State House[edit]

2012 special election[edit]

In November of 2011, Republican Denny O'Brien was elected to one of the Philadelphia City Council's at-large seats. O'Brien, who had comfortably held the 169th District seat in the State House for several decades, resigned from the General Assembly the following January. O'Brien's departure in part precipitated the decision on the part of the House Republican leadership to move the 169th district out of Philadelphia and into York County. The existing 169th district was to be split among the districts of Democrats Brendan Boyle, Kevin Boyle, Michael McGeehan and John Sabatina, Jr., as well as Republican John Taylor. However, the State Supreme Court struck-down the map, ruling its splitting of cities, townships and boroughs was unconstitutional. Therefore, a special election held on the existing boundaries was called for April 24, 2012.[3][4]

Neilson entered the race to succeed O'Brien, and won the Democratic primary unopposed. In the special election, he faced Dave Kralle, a long-time aide to O'Brien who served as his Chief of Staff at the end of his legislative tenure. On election day, Neilson defeated Kralle, and will hold the seat until January of 2013. He will again face Kralle in the November 2012 general election, this time vying for a full two-year term.[3][4]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 169: April 24, 2012 Special Election[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ed Neilson 3,453 53.95 +53.95
Republican Dave Kralle 2,941 45.95 -54.05
Write-ins 6 0.09 +0.09
Majority 506 7.99 -92.01
Democratic gain from Republican Swing 54


Neilson was sworn-in on May 8, 2012.[6] He currently serves on the Children and Youth, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Neilson, his wife and five sons currently reside in Northeast Philadelphia.[2]


  1. ^ "Ed Neilson, District 169". Official Profile. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Biography". Official Biography. The Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Waring, Tom (April 11, 2012). "Down to the wire in the 169th district". The Northeast Times. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Downs, Sana. "Power Evident Behind Ed Neilson In 169th Legislative District Race". News. The Philadelphia Public Record. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Special Election - Representative In The General Assembly - 169th District". Philadelphia County April 24, 2012 Primary and Special Election Unofficial Results. The City of Philadelphia: Office of the City Commissioners. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "6 New State Reps Sworn In". Politics News. NBC 10 Philadelphia. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]