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September 1, 2014, 10:24 pm

Hannah fights uphill battle for 186th seat

No election is over until the last ballot is counted, notes Tim Hannah, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the state House in the 186th District.

Hannah is one of three men left in the primary race that started with a field of six contenders. He hasn’t let the politics of the contest distract him.

“I’m going to keep working hard and stay focused,” Hannah said, a longtime community activist.

It is the second time that Hannah, 51, has run for the seat. He also sought the office in 2010.

The primary is April 24.

At this point, the race is largely seen as a contest between former Youth Commissioner Jordan Harris and attorney Damon K. Roberts. Harris has the backing of the party and Roberts, who sought the seat in 2010 and ran for City Council last year, is very visible in the district. Recent vandalism at Roberts’ South Philadelphia campaign office has given the race a new dynamic.

That doesn’t deter Hannah.

“It’s up to the vote,” he said. “It’s up to the people. They decide.”

He pointed to the 2008 presidential election to bolster his reasoning.

“I can remember when people where pro-Hillary Clinton,” he said. “And, Barack [Obama] just kept gaining momentum, tearing her machine apart.”

Hannah hopes his years in the neighborhood, years he spent working as a community activist, will turn voters to him on Election Day.

“I’ve been an activist since 1987. I’ve worked in South Philadelphia, have my own structure and my own neighborhood association — the United Neighborhood Association,” he said. “That’s what’s important.”

Hannah has been active as an educator and community organizer in South and West Philadelphia for almost 30 years. It’s given him a perspective that he hopes voters will want him to take to Harrisburg.

Among his accomplishments, Hannah lists his Children’s Festival, which he has organized for 14 years and a series of four conferences he’s hosted called the Conference on Education and Discourse.

Education is perhaps Hannah’s top priority.

He advocates returning governance of the city’s public schools to a locally elected school board.

If officials can get a handle on education, Hannah said, solutions to other problems — crime, jobs and better social services — will follow.

“My purpose of running is to bring back a type of structure where people will think twice about crime, weapons, making sure that the elderly are okay, better schools, businesses and job creation, and of course safety,” he said.

In the meantime, he’s a proponent of tax credits to bring industry to the district and more community involvement in dealing with local crime, and helping seniors and the needy.

A native of South Philadelphia, Hannah is a 1983 graduate of Lincoln University, where he graduated with a degree in therapeutic recreation. He is now pursuing a master’s degree in English education from Arcadia University, Glenside. He previously served as a Democratic committeeman for the 34th Ward.


Contact staff writer Eric Mayes at (215) 893-5742 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .