â€œWinning begets winning and the progressives have turned into a progressive machine thatâ€™s completely different from the old Philly machine,â€ she said. As if to illustrate her point, the powerful union led by Ms. Dickerâ€™s other 2008 opponent, Mr. Dougherty, recently endorsed Mr. Savalâ€™s campaign and contributed $25,000 to his campaign.
â€œâ€‹We were kind of holding our fire,â€ said Frank Keel, a spokesman for the union, who confirmed the endorsement. â€œIn the last ten days or two weeks it really started to coalesce around Nikil.â€
Asked about the unionâ€™s endorsement, Mr. Farneseâ€™s campaign manager, Rajah Sandor, said: â€œNikil Saval likes to hold himself up as some bastion of integrity, but when it comes down to it, heâ€™s just a typical politician who will toss his moral code out the window for a chance at $25,000 from a political boss.â€
Mr. Saval, in response, said that he was a labor candidate and the contribution represented union membersâ€™ dues. (Mr. Farnese has also been endorsed by a number of labor unions, including the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.)
Some endorsements have arrived after the campaign dynamics may already have been scrambled by remote voting. Ben Waxman, a former spokesman for the Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner who is friendly with both candidates, said that in normal circumstances, many voters would know little about down-ballot races. But those voting from home might have taken a moment to Google them.
If they did, they might find that earlier this month, Mr. Saval also received an endorsement from Bernie Sanders, giving his campaign new momentum. Itâ€™s an indication that Mr. Saval is seen by his allies as working on behalf of a national democratic socialist movement â€” one formed from a series of groundswells, including Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter â€” that will push to tax the rich, focus on workers and address climate change, among other priorities.