A left-wing political organizer and South Philadelphia ward leader is exploring a run for one of the city’s most historically powerful seats in the Pennsylvania Legislature.
Nikil Saval, leader of the city’s 2nd Ward and cofounder of Reclaim Philadelphia, launches his first fundraiser next week for a potential bid against state Sen. Larry Farnese. In question is the First Senatorial District, a massive block that covers parts of the River Wards, most of Center City and just about all of South Philly.
The two previous seat-holders rank among the most iconic Philly political bosses — and both ended up behind bars. Farnese himself has already weathered a federal bribery case, though some described the allegations as a stretch.
Saval is Farnese’s first rumored challenger in the 2020 primary. The 36-year-old’s candidacy would represent the latest matchup between the Democratic party’s establishment players and progressive newcomers who have upended local politics in recent years.