Ed Neilson

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Ed Neilson
This is a photo of Edward J. Neilson
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 174
Assumed office
August 25, 2015
Preceded by John Sabatina
Member of the Philadelphia City Council
from the At-Large District
In office
August 14, 2014 – June 19, 2015
Preceded by Bill Green
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 169
In office
May 8, 2012 – August 14, 2014
Preceded by Denny O'Brien
Succeeded by Kate Klunk
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 Ed Neilson

Edward "Ed" Neilson is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party. In April 2012, he won a special election to represent the 169th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. In May 2014 he won a special election to serve as an at-large member of Philadelphia City Council replacing outgoing councilmember Bill Green. In August 2015, he won a special election to represent the 174th 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]

Political 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 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 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 served on the Children and Youth, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees.[2]

City Council[edit]

2014 Special Election[edit]

In February 2014, former City Council Member Bill Green and was sworn in as the chair of the School Reform Commission. He was nominated by Governor Tom Corbett.[7] In March 2014, Democratic ward leaders picked Neilson for the City Council special election that would be held in May 2014.[8] Neilson entered the race to succeed Bill Green, and won the special election to defeat Matt Wolfe, a Republican ward leader from West Philadelphia. He later resigned the seat on June 19, 2015.

City Council At-Large: May 20, 2014 Special Election[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ed Neilson 66,204 78.65%
Republican Matt Wolfe 13,018 15.47%
Libertarian Nikki Allen Poe 4,403 5.23%
Write-ins 551
Democratic hold


Neilson was sworn into Philadelphia City Council on August 14, 2014 and resigned on June 19, 2015.[10]

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. 
  7. ^ Dunn, Mike (2014-02-18). "Bill Green Sworn In As Chairman Of SRC, No Special Election Planned Yet To Fill His Council Seat". Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Brennan, Chris (March 11, 2014). "Democratic ward leaders pick Neilson for Council special election". The Daily News. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Special Election - City Council At-Large". Philadelphia County May 20, 2014 Primary Election Results. The City of Philadelphia: Office of the City Commissioners. Retrieved January 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ City, Council (August 14, 2014). "Philadelphia City Council Welcomes Councilman At-Large Ed Neilson". Retrieved January 6, 2015. 

External links[edit]