Philadelphia

Who’s running for mayor in Philadelphia?

City & State has your running list of all those running – and some ‘maybes.’

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images

The floodgates have opened in the race to replace Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, with four City Council members having already resigned with hopes of becoming the city’s 100th mayor. In one of the most highly anticipated mayoral races in years, several of Philadelphia’s highest-profile politicos are resigning from their current positions and throwing their hats in the ring.

With the city in a time of upheaval coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are seeking change that can resolve worsening issues related to public safety, education, housing and more. Will the city’s progressive movement overcome the Democratic establishment? Will a political outsider shake things up in a race full of Council members? Will the city see its first female mayor in history? All these questions will be answered soon enough. 

As of our press time, these are the people being talked about for Philly’s next mayor.

Running

Derek Green

Former At-Large City Council member

Derek Green
Derek Green, Former At-Large City Council Member. Photo credit: Provided

Green resigned from Council at the beginning of September and was one of the first members to formally announce a bid for mayor. The at-large Councilmember was head of Council’s Finance Committee and helped craft the business tax cut implemented in this year’s budget. Likely considered a more moderate Democrat than others considering a run, Green was formerly an assistant district attorney and a staffer to former City Councilmember Marian Tasco. 

Maria Quiñones-Sánchez

Former City Councilmember, 7th District

Maria Quiñones-Sánchez
Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Former City Councilmember, 7th District. Photo credit: Provided

Quiñones-Sánchez has been described as a “maverick,” often bucking her own party on policy issues. She was the first Latina member of Council, elected in 2007 and was the only member willing to speak out after the corruption convictions of labor leader John J. Dougherty and her former colleague, Councilmember Bobby Henon. She’s looking to become the first woman to lead City Hall. She has represented some of the poorest neighborhoods in North Philadelphia and has won all of her elections without support from the Democratic establishment. 

Cherelle Parker

Former City Councilmember, 9th District

Cherelle Parker
Cherelle Parker, Former City Councilmember, 9th District. Photo credit: Provided

Parker followed Green and Quiñones-Sánchez out the City Hall door, becoming the third Councilmember to resign and announce a run for mayor. Parker, Council’s then-majority leader, was a second-term Councilmember who represented the 9th district in the Mount Airy section of the city. Parker was also a staffer for Tasco before she became the youngest African American woman elected to the state House of Representatives. After 10 years serving in Harrisburg, Parker now chairs the Delaware River Port Authority and maintains a focus on the city’s labor sector. Both Green and Parker trace back their starts to the politically powerful “Northwest Coalition,” which could lead to both candidates jockeying for support from this critical group of Black and Brown voters. 

Likely running

Allan Domb

Former City Councilmember, At-Large

Allan Domb
Allan Domb, Former City Councilmember, At-Large. Photo credit: Office of City Councilmember Allan Domb

Domb was the first Councilmember to resign, setting the stage for others to follow suit. While he hasn’t formally announced his bid for mayor, Domb formed an exploratory committee and is fully expected to join the race soon. Known as the “Condo King,” Domb was elected to Council in 2015 after making a name for himself as a Philadelphia real estate mogul. He, alongside grocer Jeff Brown, would be considered a business-friendly outsider in the race. 

Helen Gym

City Council member, At-Large

Gym, a second-term at-large Council member, received the most votes of any Council candidate in 2019. She is the progressive candidate likely to receive support from the grassroots groups that have backed successful candidates such as District Attorney Larry Krasner in the past. A strong advocate for workers’ rights and fair housing, Gym has championed legislation advocating for more public school funding and the so-called “Fair Workweek” law, among other protections. 

Rebecca Rhynhart

City Controller

Rhynhart came to Philadelphia with financial experience from a career on Wall Street. Having previously served as then-Mayor Michael Nutter’s budget director, Rhynhart assumed the role of City Controller in 2017 and quickly became one of the harshest critics of Kenney. She has issued several audits and reports calling for the city to modernize and reform its spending habits and is expected to have the financial backing to launch an upstart campaign. 

Considering a run

Cindy Bass

City Councilmember, 8th District 

In her third term as a Council member, Bass has maintained a focus on neighborhood quality-of-life issues. She previously served under then-state Sen. Allyson Schwartz and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah. Her Nuisance Business Bill sought to hold businesses accountable for failing to curb loitering or public drunkenness, and she continues to call for more funding to address the city’s chronic dumping problems. 

Jeff Brown

Chair and CEO, Brown’s Super Stores

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown, Chair and CEO, Brown's Super Stores. Photo credit: Jared Gruenwald

The most intriguing person in the mayoral race might be grocery giant Jeff Brown. Although he’s never held elected office, Brown has been a critic of Kenney and is a well-known name in the region and its political space. Brown owns Brown’s Super Stores, which operates more than a dozen ShopRites and Fresh Grocers in food deserts across Philadelphia. He’s also worked to hire formerly incarcerated people, which could help provide a backdrop to his political priorities. 

David Oh

City Council member, At-Large

The lone Republican on this list, Oh is a longshot candidate who’s carved a niche as a business-friendly Councilmember. As a champion of immigrant rights, veterans and small business ownership, Oh sets himself apart from the Republican Party while still garnering some support outside of the GOP strongholds in Northeast and South Philadelphia. 

Unlikely to run

Kendra Brooks

City Council member, At-Large

Darrell Clarke

City Council President, 5th District 

Michael Driscoll

City Council member, 6th District 

Jamie Gauthier

City Council member, 3rd District 

Katherine Gilmore Richardson

City Council member, At-Large

Curtis Jones Jr.

City Council Majority Whip, 4th District

Brian O’Neill

City Council member, 10th District

Kenyatta JohnsonCity Council member, 2nd District

Mark Squilla

City Council Majority Deputy Whip, 1st District

Isaiah Thomas

City Council member, At-Large

What’s next for Council

With four vacancies now on Council, the power to decide on when those seats will be filled rests in Clarke’s hands. Clarke announced on Sept. 9 – the beginning of the month-long special election window – that special elections will be held on Election Day in November to determine who will fill the seats vacated by Quiñones-Sánchez and Parker. Those two seats are considered a higher priority because district residents are currently without a representative. 

With Clarke declining to comment on the two at-large seat vacancies, it looks like the seats vacated by Domb and Green will not be filled anytime soon. Clarke has until Oct. 9 to call for a special election for those two remaining vacancies. If a special election isn’t called to fill those two spots, they could remain vacant for more than a year, until at least the 2023 primary election, when all 17 Council seats are up for grabs.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.