Michael John Towey (June 17, 1902 – September 29, 1960) was an organized labor leader and Democratic politician from Philadelphia.
Towey was born in 1902 in County Mayo, Ireland, the son of Joseph and Ann Towey.He emigrated to the United States at the age of 15 and graduated from Philadelphia's Northeast High School. He later attended the University of Pennsylvania before graduating with an engineering degree from Drexel Institute of Technology. After graduating, Towey worked as a plumber and became the business representative of the United Association of Plumbers. He was later elected the president of Plumbers Union Local 690. Towey also became involved in Democratic party politics, running for the Democratic nomination in the 5th state Senate district in 1936. He fared poorly, placing a distant second to the machine candidate, Israel Stiefel.
Towey's prospects with the party improved by 1947, when he and Anthony Massing were nominated without opposition for Philadelphia City Council in the 5th district (the district sent two members to Council at the time).They went down to defeat in November against Republican nominees Louis Schwartz and Frederic Garman. Towey solidified his position in the party three years later when he defeated the machine-backed incumbent to become ward leader of the 19th ward (located in West Kensington). In 1951, he ran again for City Council from the river wards' newly drawn 6th district and was elected with 55% of the vote. Towey's election was part of a Democratic wave that combined with independent, pro-reform Republicans to sweep the Republican machine from power for the first time in 67 years.
The Democrats had come to power in the city because of their backing of a new city charter that reduced waste and mandated civil service reform. By 1954, however, Towey joined fellow Democrat James Hugh Joseph Tate in an effort to weaken the civil service reforms of the new charter.They fell just of the two-thirds vote in Council to put their amendments on the ballot. The following year, he was reelected with a slightly increased majority of 56%. In 1956, Towey and Tate again proposed charter amendments aimed at weakening civil service protections and this time found the required vote to put it on to the ballot for popular approval. The referendum failed in a vote that April.
In 1959, Towey ran for a third Council term and defeated Republican Stanley Bednarek with 60.3% of the vote, his greatest margin to date.The next year, he suffered a heart attack at his Juniata Park home and died at the age of 58. He was survived by his wife, the former Pearl Weidmayer, and was buried in Philadelphia's North Cedar Hill Cemetery.
Constance Hopkins Snow Dallas was an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, she served on the Philadelphia City Council as a representative of the city's 8th district. Born in New York and educated in Europe, Dallas came to Philadelphia as a teenager. After marriage and raising children, she entered local politics as a reform-minded Democrat. Following an unsuccessful run for City Council in 1947, she was elected in 1951, the first woman to serve in that legislative body.
Harry Norwitch was an organized labor leader and Democratic politician from Philadelphia.
Philadelphia's municipal election held on November 6, 1951, was the first under the city's new charter, which had been approved by the voters in April, and the first Democratic victory in the city in more than a half-century. The positions contested were those of mayor and district attorney, and all seventeen city council seats. There was also a referendum on whether to consolidate the city and county governments. Citywide, the Democrats took majorities of over 100,000 votes, breaking a 67-year Republican hold on city government. Joseph S. Clark Jr. and Richardson Dilworth, two of the main movers for the charter reform, were elected mayor and district attorney, respectively. Led by local party chairman James A. Finnegan, the Democrats also took fourteen of seventeen city council seats, and all of the citywide offices on the ballot. A referendum on city-county consolidation passed by a wide margin. The election marked the beginning of Democratic dominance of Philadelphia city politics, which continues today.
Thomas Ignatius Guerin was a Democratic lawyer and politician from Philadelphia.
William Milton Phillips was a Republican businessman and politician from Philadelphia.
Samuel Rose was a Democratic lawyer and politician from Philadelphia.
Victor Edward Moore was a Philadelphia businessman and Democratic politician. He served three terms on the Philadelphia City Council and as chairman of the Philadelphia Gas Works.
Philadelphia's municipal election of November 3, 1953, was the second held under the city charter of 1951 and represented the first test of the Democratic city government of Mayor Joseph S. Clark Jr. In the 1951 election, the voters had elected a Democratic mayor for the first time in 67 years, breaking the Republican hold on political power in the city. They had also elected a majority-Democratic City Council along with Democrats for district attorney and other citywide offices. In 1953, the voters had the chance to continue the Democratic trend or to block it in the election for City Controller, Register of Wills, and various judges and magistrates. On election day, the Republican organization recovered from their 1951 losses, electing all their candidates citywide. Republicans celebrated the victory, but subsequent Democratic triumphs in the 1955 and 1959 elections made the 1953 result more of an aberration than a true comeback for the once-powerful Philadelphia Republican machine.
Emanuel Weinberg was a Democratic politician from Philadelphia who served two-and-a-half terms on Philadelphia City Council.
Philadelphia's municipal election of November 5, 1957, involved the election of the district attorney, city controller, and the remainder of a term for one city council seat, as well as several row offices and judgeships. Democrats were successful citywide, continuing a run of victories racked up after the passage of a new city charter in 1951 despite growing divisions between factions of the party. Victor H. Blanc, the incumbent district attorney, led the Democratic ticket to victory. They held the city council seat and took two citywide offices that Republicans had won in 1953. In the judges' elections, most were endorsed by both parties but in the one race that pitted a Democratic candidate against a Republican, the Democrats were successful in seating their candidate, former Congressman Earl Chudoff.
Paul D'Ortona was a Democratic politician from Philadelphia who served as President of Philadelphia's City Council.
Philadelphia's municipal election of November 3, 1959 involved contests for mayor, all seventeen city council seats, and several other executive and judicial offices. Citywide, the Democrats took majorities of over 200,000 votes, continuing their success from the elections four years earlier. Richardson Dilworth, who had been elected mayor in 1955, was re-elected over Republican nominee Harold Stassen. The Democrats also took fifteen of seventeen city council seats, the most seats allowed to any one party under the 1951 city charter. They further kept control of the other citywide offices. The election represented a continued consolidation of control by the Democrats after their citywide victories of the previous eight years.
Marshall Lorenzo Shepard, Sr. was an American Christian clergyman and politician. Affiliated with the Democratic Party, his political career was focused in the city of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia's City Council special election of 1960 was held to fill two vacant city council seats. The first was in the 4th district, when Democrat Samuel Rose died in January 1960. A second vacancy that same year occurred in the 6th district when Democrat Michael J. Towey died suddenly in September 29. Special elections were scheduled for November 8, 1960, to be held at the same time as the national election that year. Both seats were easily held by the Democratic Party.
William Aloysius Dwyer Jr. was an American lawyer, judge, and Democratic politician from Philadelphia. He served on the Philadelphia City Council from 1960 to 1963 and on the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas from 1967 until his death in 1982.
Philadelphia's municipal election of November 7, 1961, involved the election of the district attorney, city controller, and several judgeships. Democrats swept all of the city races but saw their vote totals much reduced from those of four years earlier, owing to a growing graft scandal in city government. District Attorney James C. Crumlish, Jr. and City Controller Alexander Hemphill, both incumbents, were returned to office. Several ballot questions were also approved, including one permitting limited sales of alcohol on Sundays.
Foster Alexander Dunlap was a Republican lawyer and politician from Philadelphia who served as City Controller from 1954 to 1958.
Philadelphia's municipal election of November 5, 1963, involved contests for mayor, all seventeen city council seats, and several other executive and judicial offices. The Democrats lost vote share citywide and the Republicans gained one seat in City Council, but the Democratic acting mayor, James Hugh Joseph Tate, was elected to a full term and his party maintained their hold on the city government. The election was the first decline in the Democrats' share of the vote since they took control of the city government in the 1951 elections, and showed the growing tension between the reformers and ward bosses within their party.
Austin Andrew Meehan, Sr., was a Republican politician in Philadelphia who served as county sheriff. Before entering politics, Meehan ran his family's paving business and was known as a local basketball star. Beginning as an insurgent within the city's Republican Party, he soon won the favor of party bosses and climbed the ranks of Philadelphia's Republican organization. Meehan served two terms as county sheriff from 1944 to 1952 and was recognized as the unofficial head of the Republican Party in Philadelphia in the 1950s. He remained an influential party member until his death in 1961.
Walter Stanley Pytko was a Democratic politician from Philadelphia. Active in Polish-American groups in Philadelphia's Bridesburg neighborhood, Pytko also became involved in local politics. He served one term in the Pennsylvania State Senate in the 1930s and worked in various government agencies through the 1940s and 1950s. In 1962, he was elected to the Philadelphia City Council, where he served until retiring in 1968.