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Your Guide to the Philadelphia Primary Election on May 16, 2023

Who's running? City Council? Commissioners? Controller? Judges? We've got you covered, Philadelphia voters

Your Guide to the Philadelphia Primary Election on May 16, 2023

Who's running? City Council? Commissioners? Controller? Judges? We've got you covered, Philadelphia voters

Welcome to your complete guide to Philadelphia’s primary election on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. In a city where turnout is typically low, you’d think Philly voters would overlook a primary. But in a city that’s as one-party as we are, the primary election — specifically, the Democratic primary — largely determines who wins in the general election.

On the ballot: Democratic and Republican: candidates for Mayor, all City Council seats, Controller, Registers of Wills, Sheriff, City Commissioners and judges galore. (Statewide judicial offices, 10 judges for Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, 2 judges for Philadelphia Municipal Court.) Plus, ballot questions! 

Note: All listed candidates will appear on the primary ballot. Candidates who filed petitions but were subsequently removed or withdrew from the ballot are not included.

Read on for all the candidates, or skip ahead to what you need to know. (And go here for all the info you need on how to register, apply for a mail-in ballot and find your polling place.)



Amen Brown is serving his first term as the Pennsylvania State Representative for the 190th district in West Philadelphia. He has been described as a moderate Democrat whose main issues are fighting crime and advancing development. Prior to serving in Harrisburg, Brown ran daycare centers, explored entrepreneurial real estate and founded a community empowerment center in Overbrook. He is currently being sued by former partners and creditors for $144,000 in unpaid debt. He has a record of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes from his business dealings and has been implicated in deed fraud. Brown’s campaign for mayor is rumored to have deep pockets behind it. Among the most visible is New York real estate mogul Marty Burger, who has development projects in Brown’s district and announced Brown’s intention to run at PA Society in early December.


Jeff Brown was the first non-elected official to announce his intention to run for Mayor of Philadelphia. The popular founder, president and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores has a baker’s dozen Philly grocery stores, all ShopRites and Fresh Grocers, most intentionally located in food deserts. Brown chairs the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board and serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association and Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity. For 20+ years, he chaired the board of the Philadelphia Youth Network

Endorsements: AFSCME District Council 33, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Local 108, Teamsters Joint Council 53, Transport Workers Union Local 234, United Food and Commercial Workers locals 1776, 360, and 152; Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, Temple University Police Association


James M. “Jimmy” DeLeon III may have the least name recognition of all the candidates running for mayor of Philadelphia, but he does have the most life experience. Age 75, DeLeon is the senior candidate in the mayor’s race, having spent 34 years as a Philadelphia municipal court judge. The retired jurist has said his judicial experience gives him a first hand perspective on what’s broken about how the City handles crime, especially gun violence. It is widely acknowledged that DeLeon is a long, long, longshot.


Allan Domb, also known as the “Condo King” of Center City’s affluent Rittenhouse neighborhood, became one of the few experienced business leaders to join Philadelphia City Council after a largely self-funded campaign in 2015. Domb, 67, served nearly two terms as an at-large member, resigned in August to embark on a “listening tour,” before declaring his intention to run for mayor. Throughout his tenure on City Council, the Center City landlord — he owns more than 400 properties in Philly that are worth more than $400 million — has continued to work in real estate, but promises to leave the business, should he be elected. Domb distinguished himself on Council by seeking out dollars-and-cents solutions to city problems. He donated his salary to Philadelphia public schools, badgered Mayor Jim Kenney when the City misplaced a cool $33 million, and pushed for a wage tax refund for low-income families (which Kenney ultimately vetoed).

Endorsement: Former Philadelphia Mayor Bill Green III


Helen Gym was first elected to an At-Large City Council seat in 2016. When she was re-elected in 2019, she won the most votes among all Councilmembers on the ballot. A proud progressive, Gym is the first Asian American woman to serve on Council. She came into government through community organizing for Chinatown, leading fights there against a proposed Phillies stadium, and two proposed casinos. She proudly touts her experience as a public school teacher and parent. Since joining Council, Gym has often drawn comparisons — positive and negative — with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is known to champion historically marginalized communities.

Endorsements: Make the Road Action in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; Philly Neighborhood Networks; Reclaim Philadelphia; Amistad Movement Power; AFT Pennsylvania, Teamsters BMWED; Unite Here Philly; Working Families Party, AFSCME DC 47, Reclaim Philadelphia, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, One Pennsylvania, actors Mark Ruffalo and Jane Fonda


The only Republican candidate for Mayor, David Oh served three terms as an At-Large member of City Council. Oh graduated from Rutgers University Law School before becoming an assistant District Attorney (1985-1988) under DAs Ed Rendell and Ronald Castille. Oh served in the Army National Guard from 1989 to 1992, when he returned to Philadelphia to open a law firm. He told the Committee of Seventy that his highest priorities, should he become the first Republican to take City Hall’s top job in 70 years, are to “make Philadelphia safe, create good jobs and provide quality schools in every neighborhood.” Oh has also proclaimed himself a law and order candidate.

Endorsements: Republican City Committee, former governor Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille, Log Cabin Republicans.


The second-term City Councilmember Cherelle Parker represented the 9th District, which consists of the Northwest and Northeast neighborhoods of Mount Airy (where Parker and her family reside), West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Olney, Lawncrest, Lawndale, Burholme and Oxford Circle. She was City Council’s majority leader. As a member of Council, Parker served as chair of the Labor and Civil Service Committee and vice chair of the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development. She is the first woman to chair the board of the Delaware River Port Authority.

Endorsements: Philadelphia Building Trades, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 32BJIBEW Local 98, Eastern Atlantic States Council of Carpenters, District Council 33 Locals 427 and 403; U.S. Representatives Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle; Philadelphia Council President Darrell Clarke, former City Councilmembers (and mayoral candidates) Derek Green and Maria Quiñones Sánchez; State Senators Vincent Hughes, Sharif Street and Tina Tartaglione; The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity


Rebecca Rhynhart became the first woman to win the City Controller job in 2017 upon defeating incumbent Alan Butkovitz. Before that, Rhynhart was Mayor Jim Kenney’s chief administrative officer, Mayor Michael Nutter’s City Treasurer and then budget director, and, before all that, a managing director at Bear Stearns in New York. Under Rhyhart’s direction, the Controller’s Office released a comprehensive spending plan for Philly’s $1.4 billion slice of the American Rescue Fund as well as detailed reports on Gun Violence Prevention, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and the Philadelphia Police Department‘s budget, among others.

Endorsements: Former Mayors John Street and Michael Nutter, former Mayor and Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, The Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board



Nina Ahmad is a former Deputy Mayor for Public Engagement, where she launched the Commission on Women. She’s currently state president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and a former member of the National Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under President Barack Obama. Ahmad ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2018 and state auditor general in 2020. She says her highest priority is addressing gun violence as a public health issue, for both the physical and the psychological traumas it causes. She serves on the board of the Philadelphia Foundation. This would be her first time holding elected office.

Endorsements: In three-way tie for the At-Large endorsement from the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee


Jalon Alexander is a cyber security attorney for a Virginia-based firm who says he started his civic life as a child in Strawberry Mansion, working alongside his great-grandmother during door-to-door get-out-the-vote efforts. A graduate of Bodine High School and Penn State, he became the first Black student body president of the Commonwealth Campuses Student Government. As a college senior, he ran unsuccessfully to be a City Committeeperson. He then attended law school at the University of Pittsburgh. This would be Alexander’s first role in government leadership. He has listed his priorities as gun violence and crime prevention.


Erika Almirón is a 20-year veteran of social justice organizing and advocating for human rights. As executive director of Juntos, a community and immigrant rights organization, she worked to help establish Philadelphia’s Sanctuary City policy. Almirón is the daughter of immigrants from Paraguay, has aligned herself with Latinx members of City leadership and has vowed to campaign without support from corporations, dark money or real estate developers. Her platform is based on her work in social justice and focuses on education reform, affordable housing, and immigrants’ rights. Almirón ran unsuccessfully for Philadelphia City Council in 2019. This would be her first time holding elected office.

Endorsements: Mijente, Working Families Party, Angelo Ortiz (first Latino City Councilmember in Philly history), Amistad Movement Power — in a three-way tie for the At-Large endorsement from the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee. Wards will determine the final endorsements.


Christopher Gladstone Booth had a career in government — according to his website, he’s worked for the Dept. of Agriculture, and the International Technology Services Division in the Dept. of Defense — before becoming a public school teacher. He’s on the board of the Woodford Tennis Club and East Mt. Airy Neighbors, and the advisory committee of Pleasant Playground. This would be the first elected role for Gladstone Booth. He has listed his priorities as improving education, preventing crime, establishing Philadelphia as a historic and cultural destination, promoting renewable energy and establishing a public bank.


Sherrie Cohen is a progressive activist and tenant rights attorney who has sued to protect Philadelphia public libraries from closure and sued big tobacco in a landmark class-action case. The daughter of the late Councilmember At-Large David Cohen, Cohen aims to become the first openly LGBTQ+ member of Council and has twice fallen short of making it onto the November ballot; this would be her first time holding elected office. Cohen is a Democratic Party committeeperson and block captain and has listed her priorities as ending gun violence through community-led public safety programs, improving public schools, opening libraries and recreation centers daily, funding “deeply affordable” housing, establishing prison oversight, ending mass incarceration, and creating a Green New Deal for Philadelphia.


Luz Colón is a Kensington native of proud Puerto Rican heritage who served under Gov. Tom Wolf as executive director of Pennsylvania’s Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA). She has staffed for three members of City Council: Angel Ortiz, Blondell Reynolds Brown and Bill Greenlee and is a 20th Ward committeeperson. Colón has been on the boards of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) and Philadelphia Fight, an HIV/AIDS medical care organization, and co-founded La Liga del Barrio, the city’s first Latino Youth Basketball League. She has cited public safety, equitable economic investment, and improving public education has her top priorities. Colón has worked in City Hall, but this would be her first time holding elected office.


Abu Edwards is a community organizer and the PA grassroots manager for voting rights organization All Voting is Local. His resume shows a decade-plus of service to organizations that support students of color, involvement in government, addiction treatment, libraries, mentorship for at-risk children, voter participation, City parks, the Committee of Seventy, and the NAACP. Also on the C.V.: working on campaigns for Biden, Bloomberg, Katie McGinty, Obama, and PA Supreme Court Justice David Wecht. He’s been a Democratic Committeeperson for the 42nd (Olney) and 22nd (Mt. Airy) wards and has yet to work in City Hall, as an elected official or in any capacity. He ran unsuccessfully to represent District 179 (North Philadelphia) in the State House of Representatives in 2018. Improving 911 times for underserved communities, solving illegal dumping, lowering business taxes are among his priorities.


In 2020, Katherine Gilmore Richardson became the youngest woman to hold citywide office and youngest Black woman to serve on City Council. She’d previously served as chief of staff to Councilmember Blondell Reynolds Brown and as vice president of the Philadelphia Young Democrats. On Council, she’s known for her efforts toward transparency and collaboration. Her legislative successes include giving grades of career technical education programs in the School District preference in civil service examinations (and therefore easier access to City jobs), requiring public hearings for labor contracts for the Philadelphia Police Department, instituting conflict resolution training in public schools, and advocating for sustainable investing in the pension fund. She is the lone Pennsylvanian to serve on the Local Government Advisory Committee for the EPA. She has told The Citizen that Philly’s most pressing issues are “poverty, education and public safety.”

Endorsements: Democratic City Committee, Reclaim Philadelphia, Philly 3.0


Information not available.


Hagins, aka “Philly Green Man,” believes cleaning and greening are key to positive change in Philadelphia, including through innovating waste management. The retired teacher and self-described recycling guru also lists equitable funding for education, including STEM, and a Green New Deal for Philly. He ran unsuccessfully for an At-Large seat in the 2019 primary. He has never held elected office.

IM HARRITY (Incumbent by special election)

During a November 2022 special election, voters chose Jim Harrity to replace Allan Domb on City Council. Harrity came to politics as executive director of the Office of State Senator Sharif Street, political director of the Philadelphia Democratic Party — right-hand to Party Chairman and former Congressman Bob Brady — and more recently, the political director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. In Council, he introduced a bill to expand protections under the City’s existing Life Partnership ordinance to protect individuals regardless of gender, and joined Mike Driscoll in introducing a resolution for the City to enact its own minimum wage laws. Harrity is passionate about helping people struggling with addiction.

Endorsement: Democratic City Committee


Job Itzkowitz has been the executive director of Old City District since 2014. An attorney with a law degree from Penn, he’s worked for City Council as deputy chief of staff and director of legislation. He co-founded both Young Involved Philadelphia and Friends of Love Park, and chaired the zoning committee for the Board of East Point Breeze Neighbors. Itzkowitz’s focuses are quality-of-life issues such as accessible public transit and clean streets, education, and small businesses. Itzkowitz, who is six-foot-seven, uses the tagline “Tall Tasks Require Tall Solutions.” This would be his first time holding elected office.

Endorsement: Philly 3.0


John B. Kelly III is the son of former City Councilmember John B. Kelly II and nephew of Princess Grace. He touts his qualifications in municipal finance (at PNC), CFO role at Vitara Biomedical, 25 years as a Democratic committeeperson in the 9th Ward (10 as treasurer), founding treasurer of the Philadelphia Police Foundation, and board member of the Fairmount Park Conservancy. He’s also president of the environmentally active Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA. He has not served in political office or worked in City Hall.


Rue Landau is a fair housing activist and attorney who worked at Community Legal Services for more than 10 years and spent 12 years in city government, as the director of both the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC). She has taught housing law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, was until recently the director of law and policy at the Philadelphia Bar Association, and is generally considered well-liked and connected in government circles. A member of the LGBTQ+ community, Landau (and her partner) received the first same-sex marriage license in Pennsylvania. This would be Landau’s first time holding elected office.

Endorsements: Democratic City Committee, LGBTQ Victory Fund, Working Families Party, Amistad Movement Power


Amanda McIllmurray is a Fishtown native, political organizer, and progressive candidate who ran the campaigns of state Senator Nikil Saval and state Representative Elizabeth Fiedler. She is running on a working-class platform, pushing for wage and labor protections, affordable housing, community safety, and greater investment in public transportation and services. McIllmurray was a founder and the political director of Reclaim Philadelphia, a progressive political organization born of Bernie Sanders’s presidential run — and also influential in the campaigns of Larry Krasner, Fielder, and Saval. This would be her first time holding elected office.

Endorsements: Free the Ballot, Reclaim Philadelphia, Straight Ahead, Working Families Party, PHL DSA, Amistad Movement Power, Philadelphia chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (Philly DSA)


Michelle Prettyman has been a teacher at Olney High School and says her students’ trauma and needs for financial, vocational and other education and skills inspired her to run for elected office. She lists crime reduction, educational reform, and supporting small businesses as priorities. She is a member of the Parent Action Committee for Mastery Charter Schools, the Philadelphia section of National Council of Negro Women, and board of the JayHawks Youth Association in Kingsessing, where she lives. This would be her first time holding elected office.


Charles Reyes is a former community school coordinator for the for the Mayor’s Office of Children and Families. He’s been honored by Good Morning America for the work he’s done for the students of Dobbins High School, including distributing fresh produce and other food and creating a fitness program. This would be his first time holding elected office.


Melissa Robbins is a former WURD host and Army combat medic who has been a political strategist for Democrats campaigning for City Council and state office. She has not herself held elected office. Robbins believes poverty — which causes a lack of access to opportunity — is the root cause of Philadelphia’s most pressing needs for affordable housing access, safe and equitable public schools, and violence. Education solutions she’s proposing include increasing our investment in schools — including from the state — and partnering with local colleges.


Eryn Santamoor served as the Deputy Managing Director for the City and Deputy Managing Director for Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Deputy Mayor for Public Safety under Mayor Michael Nutter, where she contributed to the creation of Philly311 and PhillyStat. As Chief of Staff for former At-Large City Councilmember Allan Domb, she became known for her expertise in operations and budgeting and navigating City bureaucracy. In the private sector as a consultant for PFM, she helped other cities manage fiscal crises. She has stated her priorities as addressing substance use disorders, improving public safety and upgrading basic City services. This would be her first time holding elected office. Santamoor ran an innovative yet unsuccessful campaign for an At-Large Council seat in 2019..

Endorsements: Philly 3.0, and in a three-way tie for the endorsement of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee Wards will determine the final endorsements.


Curtis Segers is the assistant principal of school culture at Mastery Charter School Mann Elementary. The Olney resident and Cheyney University grad has said his goals on City Council would be to improve public schools and increase community safety. This would be his first role in government or politics.

ISAIAH THOMAS (1-term Incumbent)

Isaiah Thomas chairs Council’s Streets and Education Committees and vice chairs the Children and Youth Committee. The East Oak Lane dad’s most talked-about achievement in City Hall was sponsoring the Driving Equality bill, which bans police from making traffic stops for minor offenses like a broken tail light. Thomas introduced a Citizen Watchdog bill to pay residents for reporting quality-of-life issues and joined Councilmember Richardson in creating a $1 Illuminate the Arts grant to give $1,000 to $25,000 to local artists. He’s the former athletic director at Sankofa Freedom Academy, former president of the Coaches Association for Public League Boys Basketball, director of community affairs for the Controller’s office, and the co-founder of an end-of-summer camp for at-risk youth. He’s rallied against gun violence and its outcomes on children and hosts an annual Black-owned business crawl. Thomas sees a dangerous dichotomy between the business community and low-income Philadelphians, one that affects his top priorities of poverty, affordable housing, gun violence and public education.

Endorsements: Democratic City Committee, Working Families Party, Amistad Movement Power, Philly 3.0


Donavan West is the founder of the Black Business Accelerator and consulting firm Culturally Congruent Solution. He served as president and CEO of the PA African-American Chamber of Commerce in the nine-month runup to Covid. His strengths and support are in the realm of business and economic development, but issues he prioritizes in his campaign also include crime, affordable housing, health care, education, and poverty. He has served on both the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males and the Mayor’s Pathways to Reform, Transformation and Reconciliation Steering Committee, but not in City government.

Endorsement: Philly 3.0


Deshawnda Williams is a social worker and mental health consultant and coach, a nonprofit operator, and a former pastor of Nicetown’s New Inspirational Baptist Church. Williams has rallied against gun violence and served as the president of the board of Bluford Charter School. She ran for a state senate seat in 2016. This would be Williams’ first time in elected office.



Frank Cristinzio, according to Billy Penn, is the treasurer of the United Republican Club in Kensington.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party


Gary Grisafi has been a Republican leader for the 53rd Ward. The owner of Grisafi Music Institute in Bensalem and Ambler is a musician, a music teacher, and a construction safety inspector. He has worked as a constituent services representative for former Councilmember Al Taubenberg and served on his neighborhood town watch and civic association. Grisafi has previously run without success for the District 7 seat in City Council and for state rep. This would be his first time as an elected official.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party


James Hasher is a Realtor, real estate agency owner, and the owner-operator of Jimmy’s Timeout Sports Pub in Torresdale. His leadership in youth athletics includes serving on the PA Athletic Commission, presiding over the Torresdale Boys Club, founding a local AAU basketball program, coaching for Torresdale and St. Katherine of Siena, and fundraising for Philly boxers. He’s also been the 65th Ward Leader and a 1994 candidate for the 3rd Congressional District. Hasher’s top priorities are combating gun violence with improved law enforcement, bringing small businesses back to Philadelphia, and tackling the opioid epidemic by eliminating drug smuggling, making dealers more accountable, and improving drug education.  This would be his first time holding elected office.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party


Mary Jane Kelly is a resident of East Torresdale and a 65th Ward Republican Committee. A graduate of Saint Boniface Business School, she worked as a clerk in the Philadelphia Court System for 26 years and now works as a hostess at Phillies home games.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party


Drew Murray ran in a special election for a vacated seat on Council 2022, ran for Council 2019 Council run, and ran for a House seat in 2020. The is the leader of the 15th Ward, works as a regional sales manager for O’Brien Business Systems in Montco. He’s also been president of the Logan Square Neighbors Association and Friends of Coxe Park, chair of the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition and board member of Center City District. He would like to see Philly take a tougher approach to crime, including misdemeanors. He’s pro-police, anti- soda tax and safe injection sites, would like reduced wage and millage taxes, and supports both school choice and universal pre-K. This would be his first time holding elected office.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party


Sam Oropeza is a realtor and former boxer and MMA fighter who operates a nonprofit that performs street cleanups. Last year, he ran unsuccessfully — but still managed to receive 43 percent of the vote — for 5th state Senatorial District in the special election. He champions police causes and getting rid of encampments of unhoused people. Oropeza’s priorities are safe neighborhoods, education and accountability. He told Al Día that reducing crime and gun violence was at the top of his list. This would be his first time holding elected office.

Endorsements: Fraternal Order of Police 5, David Oh


See the Committee of Seventy’s complete set of Councilmanic District maps.


Along the Delaware River from South Philly, through Center City (Old City), Chinatown, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond

MARK SQUILLA (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent)

The bread-and-butter of South Philly native Mark Squilla, a Neumann grad and a Mummer, are constituent services — including helping to start Friends of groups and making generous contributions from campaign and discretionary funds to organizations in his district. Squilla chairs Council’s Streets Committee, has showed up to remedy trash and litter, and fought for the ban on single-use plastic bags. Squilla also displayed unconventional initiative when, in 2015, he and his office auctioned off 89 distressed properties in his councilmanic district.



Parts of Center City, South and Southwest Philadelphia, including the Sixers, Eagles, Phillies, Flyers stadiums, Philadelphia International Airport, the Navy Yard and FDR Park

KENYATTA JOHNSON (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent)

Southwest Philly Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson has become known citywide as much for his time in court as his time in City Hall, where he is one of Council’s preeminent joiners. Last year, he — and his wife — were acquitted of a 22-count indictment on charges of racketeering, wire fraud, and tax fraud.

Johnson hails from Point Breeze and served as the state rep for the 186th legislative district. He chairs Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention and the Committee on Rules and Transportation and Public Utilities. He also serves on committees for Appropriations, Public Safety, Streets and Services, Licenses and Inspections, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Commerce and Economic Development, Children and Youth, and Fiscal Stability and Intergovernmental Cooperation committees.

He lists his current top priorities as: keeping property taxes down, reforming the justice system, making pre-K universally available.

No challenger


West and Southwest Philadelphia neighborhoods of Belmont, Powelton Village, West Powelton, Kingsessing, Elmwood Park, Mill Creek, Mantua, University City, Cobbs Creek, Walnut Hill, Spruce Hill, Garden Court, Cedar Park

JAMIE GAUTHIER (Democrat / 1-term Incumbent)

Gauthier took office in January 2020 as “only elected official in the City of Philadelphia with a planning degree.” As Chair of the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless, Gauthier pushes policy that encourages new affordable housing construction while preserving existing affordable housing. She has collaborated with former Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez on the Mixed Income Neighborhoods Overlay District (within which large new developments must keep 20 percent of their units affordable), and with former and current Councilmembers Gym and Brooks on the Emergency Housing Protection Act. Her 2022 #JustServicesPHL campaign calls for major investments in marginalized neighborhoods to improve City services to improve parks, add street lights, curtail illegal dumping, and green vacant lots.

Endorsements: Working Families Party, Reclaim Philadelphia’s Steering Committee, Amistad Movement Power

No challenger


Allegheny West, Belmont Village, East Falls, Manayunk, Overbrook, Overbrook Park, Roxborough, Wynnefield and sections of West Philadelphia

CURTIS JONES JR. (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent)

Jones is the Chairman of the Committees on Public Safety, Commerce & Economic Development and Vice Chair for Parks & Recreation & Cultural Affairs. He was unanimously elected Majority Leader from 2012-2016.

Jones’ legislative achievements include making permanent the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males, amending Philadelphia’s “Ban the Box” legislation to protect job applicants from discrimination based on their criminal record, and the “CVN Bill” that allows police officers to use their discretion for certain minor offenses to avoid an arrest in favor of issuing a civil citation. Jones is a proponent of community-based economic development. He launched a $1 million pilot project for mixed-use developments with the Office of Housing and Community Development, and establishing the Roxborough Environmental Control District to preserve the historic Manatawna Farm, wildlife habitat and greenspace.

No challenger


North Central Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion, Lower Hunting Park, Ludlow, Yorktown, West Poplar, Fairhill, Brewerytown, Francisville, Spring Garden, Fairmount, Logan Square, and parts of Northwood, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, and Center City.

Darrell Clarke: The 3-term incumbent and Council’President,announced he is not running for reelection, opening the field for his replacement in the 5th District.


Jeffrey Young is an attorney and partner at the Wynnefield-based Legis Group, where he specializes in real estate, government affairs and business law. Clarke’s former legislative council, Young has experience working in the 5th District. He is both a committeeperson for, and counsel to, the 32nd Ward. Young has served on the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males (now the Office on Black Male Engagement), the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, the Union Benevolent Association, and the board of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation. He has listed the issues he will prioritize as: reducing gun violence, improving educational outcomes, targeting investment in youth, reforming public safety institutions, creating economic opportunities, and ensuring sustainable and equitable development. This would be his first time holding elected office.


Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods of Tacony, Mayfair, Holmesburg, Lexington Park, Holme Circle, Ashton, Bridesburg, Wissinoming, Port Richmond, East Torresdale, Castor Gardens, Oxford Circle, Rhawnhurst, Bells Corner, Winchester Park, Academy Gardens, Pennypack and Frankford

MIKE DRISCOLL (Democrat / partial-term Incumbent)

Mike Driscoll is a former state representative of the 173rd District who resigned his seat to replace Councilmember Bobby Henon in June 2022, after Henon was found guilty on 10 of 18 federal charges on embezzlement and theft. Driscoll chairs the Department of Licenses and Inspections. Prior to occupying an elected office, he was V.P. of business development for the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union and deputy secretary of the Department of General Services under PA Gov. Bob Casey. Driscoll’s priorities include developing the Delaware River waterfront and improving educational opportunities for young children and college graduates. He has co-sponsored legislation to reduce truck and trailer parking in his district, increase student pedestrian safety, allow Philadelphia to enact its own minimum wage law, and to change the City’s employee residency requirement.

Endorsements: Fraternal Order of Police, IAFF Local 22 (Philadelphia firefighters’ and paramedics’ union), Philadelphia Building Trades, AFSCME, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO and SEIU 32BJ

No challenger


Castor Gardens, Fairhill, Feltonville, Frankford, Harrowgate, Hunting Park, Juniata, Kensington, Oxford Circle and Wissinoming.

QUETCY LOZADA (Democrat / partial-term Incumbent)

Quetcy Lozada joined City Council in a special election following the 2022 resignation of her former boss, former 7th District Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez, who is running for mayor. Before Lozada’s election, the Northwood resident was vice president of community engagement and organizing for the Hunting Park Christian service group Esperanza. She also served as director of community engagement for the District Attorney’s office, then as Quiñones Sánchez’s chief of staff. Upon becoming a member of Council, she cited her priorities as combating gun violence and the opioid crisis, which is rampant in her district, especially Kensington. In her few months on Council, Lozada has introduced a resolution for a “Marshall Plan” for Kensington and co-sponsored Councilmember Phillips’ bill for student pedestrian safety.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee


Andrés Celin cites his qualifications for City Council as his decade-plus of work in the 7th District as an educator at Edison High School, family case worker at Congreso de Latinos Unidos, and community organizer — along with his time as the outreach director for former Councilmember Gym. Celin says community safety in the 7th will come by providing more and better treatment, housing, job training and violence interruption for people impacted by opioid addiction. He also wants his community to have a voice in residential development, and to increase affordable housing. Celin’s third main priority: Economic justice in the form of job training, expanding access to union careers, and investing in public education. This would be his first time holding elected office.

Endorsements: Amistad Movement Power, Philadelphia chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (Philly DSA)


Northwest Philly, including parts of Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, East Falls, Germantown, Wissahickon, Nicetown, Tioga, Allegheny

CINDY BASS (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent)

Cindy Bass has represented her district since 2012 and served on the 22nd Ward Democratic Committee since 1998. Council’s Deputy Majority Whip chairs two committees: Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and Public Health and Human Services. Bass would like to be known for her championing of quality-of-life issues. She co-sponsored a bill banning guns in rec centers and playgrounds, proposed tax amnesty for taxes owed from 2009 to 2019, launched a camera program to try to catch illegal dumping, and worked on issues such as maternal mortality rates, zoning, repealing the 10-year tax abatement and improving traffic safety near schools and childcare centers. She and former Councilmember Oh recently proposed the establishment of a music office for the city.


Seth Anderson-Oberman is a professional labor organizer and long-time advocate for workers’ rights. He currently organizes for SEIU, PA’s largest healthcare union, and previously organized for the AFL-CIO and the NJ chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. His activism includes creating the Philadelphia Labor for Black Lives, who have hosted vigils for George Floyd and protested for University Townhomes residents facing eviction. He serves on the board of the Philadelphia Student Union. Anderson-Oberman says poverty reduction will lead to community safety, and that violence is a healthcare issue, requiring investment in infrastructure, outreach, and conflict resolution. He plans to advocate for deeply affordable housing and rent and mortgage relief; reform the Land Bank; end the 10-year tax abatement; ameliorate school buildings; hire more BIPOC educators, and fully fund libraries. This would be his first time being elected to public office.

Endorsements: Working Families Party, Reclaim Philadelphia’s Steering Committee, Amistad Movement Power, Philadelphia chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (Philly DSA)


Northwest and Northeast including East Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Olney, Lawncrest, Lawndale, Burholme and Oxford Circle.

ANTHONY PHILLIPS (Democrat / partial-term Incumbent)

Anthony Phillips won a special election to fill the seat vacated by former Councilmember Cherelle Parker when Parker resigned to run for Mayor. He’s the co-founder and former executive director of Youth Action, a program connecting Philly’s middle and high school students to service opportunities to inspire socially responsible leadership, and a former pre-college program director at TeenSHARP, an organization that opens doors for minority youth to achieve scholarships and gain admission to selective universities. Phillips’ actions on Council include introducing bills to protect student pedestrians and to reduce truck parking in Northeast Philly. He has served as a committeeperson and first vice chair of the 50th Ward. His goals upon re-election include: improving public safety through community engagement, improving schools through family engagement, rebuilding the District’s commercial corridors, and improving quality of life.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee


James Williams is the publisher of the 9th District Uptown Standard Newspaper and the former Northwest Philly constituent services representative for former Councilmember Oh. He has also been a track and field coach for four area universities and was twice named NCAA Women’s Coach of the Year and worked in mental health for Philadelphia schools and the director of institutional advancement for two parochial high schools. If elected, Williams wants to solve the city’s gun violence epidemic by holding gun shops accountable, implementing a public camera-based digital townwatch like Atlantic City’s, recruiting more police officers from the neighborhoods, and following recommendations made in the audit of the Police Department by the office of former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart. He’d like to improve neighborhoods with oversight of nuisance bars and shops, dangerous properties, illegal parking and dumping, abandoned cars and homes, and open-air drug markets. Williams ran unsuccessfully for an At-Large seat in 2015. This would be his first time serving in elected public office.


Yvette Young is a West Oak Lane native who is director of facilities for Pottsgrove School District. She has worked for the City as a construction auditor for the Controller’s office, project coordinator in Capital Projects, and assistant director of facilities at the School District. Her community service includes board membership on Life Turning Point of Philadelphia, a Biblical nonprofit serving women and children. Young has listed her priorities as repairing schools, developing programs and procedures to protect the environment, and creating community-based safety programs to mitigate crime and violence. This would be her first time serving in elected office.


Far Northeast neighborhoods of Bustleton, Fox Chase, Pennypack, Rhawnhurst, Somerton, Torresdale.

BRIAN O’NEILL (Republican / 11-term Incumbent)

Brian O’Neill was first elected in 1979. He currently serves as Council’s Minority Leader and chair of the Technology and Information Services Committee. O’Neill has a reputation for constituent accessibility; he maintains four full-time offices in his district. He’s a proponent of his district’s public parks, proposed a bill to reduce truck and tractor-trailer parking in the Northeast, and has introduced bills to double the Homestead Exemption, moved to review and reform the zoning code. O’Neill chairs the Northeast Philadelphia Airport Advisory Council and serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party

GARY MASINO (Democrat)

Gary Masino is the president and business manager of Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19 and the assistant business manager of the Philadelphia Building Trades Council. His ties to labor and the port are deep, having served as a commissioner on the Delaware River Port Authority board, and served on the board of appeals for the Department of Licenses and Inspections and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. He’s also served on the states’ Labor Relations Board and the Convention Center’s board of directors. Masino told the Northeast Times his “platform is simple: public safety, jobs and education.” In the same piece, he mentioned his concerns over high crime, lower salaries for teachers, and the viability of small businesses. This would be his first time holding elected office.



A long-time employee of the Controller’s Office and a certified public accountant, Christy Brady served as deputy controller before Mayor Kenney appointed her to replace Rebecca Rhynhart as acting Controller when Rhynhart resigned to run for mayor in November. Brady resigned from the position on February 2, after a judge ruled she couldn’t run without stepping down.

Endorsements: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee, Philadelphia Building Trades Council, Philadelphia AFL-CIO, among 20 other unions, along with City Commissioners Lisa Deeley and Omar Sabir and Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson


Alexandra Hunt is a former congressional candidate who ran an attention-grabbing primary challenge against Congressman Dwight Evans during which she earned national headlines for being open about her work as an adult entertainer. A Temple grad, Hunt has a background in public health and says she’s running to seek “creative solutions” to Philadelphia’s problems using “evidence-based approaches.”

JOHN THOMAS (Democrat)

John Thomas, like Christy Brady, is a former deputy controller who worked in the office for 12 years and previously served as senior analyst for the Philadelphia Gas Commission, an audit manager for the PA Auditor General’s office, and a legislative assistant to former Councilmember Marian B. Tasco, as reported in Billy Penn. If elected, Thomas would become Philadelphia’s first Black Controller.


SETH BLUESTEIN (Republican / Incumbent) 

Seth Bluestein is running for his first election after being appointed to the position in 2022. Before his appointment, he was the Chief Deputy Commissioner for former City Commissioner Al Schmidt. He has worked in the commissioners office for the past ten years in various positions including the department’s Chief Integrity Officer.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party, Transport Workers Union Local 234, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5, IATSE Local No. 8

LISA DEELEY (Democrat / Incumbent)

Lisa Deeley was first elected in 2016. She is currently the Chairwoman of the Philadelphia City Commissioners office. Before running for office, she worked for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and in the controller’s office.

Endorsements: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee, former Governor Ed Rendell, Philadelphia Young Democrats, Philadelphia Building Trades

OMAR SABIR (Democrat / Incumbent)

Omar Sabir is running for his first re-election since winning in 2019. Prior to running for office, he worked in the Pennsylvania’s  House of Representatives and State Senate.  He has been active in the community through grassroots events and as the founder of a program that works to increase voter turnout.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee


ROCHELLE BILAL (Democrat / Incumbent)

Rochelle Bilal is running for her second term after being elected in 2019 as Philadelphia’s first woman Sheriff. She served 27 years in the Philadelphia Police Department. During her time there, the Sheriff’s office retrieved a record number of firearms from domestic abusers and operated community food drives. Her office has also been accused of transgressions such as hiring disgraced cops and spending taxpayers dollars at restaurants.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee

MARK LAVELLE (Republican)

According to Billy Penn, Mark Lavelle is a warehouse manager for a medical company. In 2022, he ran unsuccessfully for the 177th legislative district. A lifelong resident of the River Wards, he cites his involvement in community life has his motivation for running for Sheriff.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party


Jackie Miles is the longtime director of security for the Washington Wizards and served as deputy sheriff in the 1990s.


Michael Untermeyer is an attorney and real estate developer. Untermeyer says he wants to bring transparency to the office, and one of his top priorities is reducing the backlog of bench warrants. Untermeyer ran for Sheriff in 2007, District Attorney in 2017, and as a Republican for City Council in 2011 and District Attorney in 2009. He is self-funding his campaign.


TRACEY GORDON (Democrat / Incumbent)

Tracey Gordon is a former Deputy City Commissioner who won the Register of Wills job in 2019, defeating 40-year incumbent Ron Donatucci — and becoming the first woman and first Black Philadelphian to hold the position. When Gordon was a Deputy City Commissioner, the Philadelphia Board of Ethics twice found her in serious violation, leading to fines and, ultimately, her termination.

RAE HALL (Democrat)

Rae Hall has worked for the City of Philadelphia since 2006, first for City Council President Anna Verna, then four years at the Register of Wills office, then for  Mayor Jim Kenney from 2016 to early 2023. Hall believes the Register of Wills office has a morale problem. She has promised to expand the office’s outreach, organize meetings, help Philadelphians use the office’s resource, reestablish pre-pandemic office hours, provide pro-bono lawyers, and more.

EndorsementsThe Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Gay News, Liberty City Democratic Club, Transport Workers Union Local 234.


Linwood Holland is a community engagement director for Americans For Prosperity, PA. He has served as chairman and now leader of the 35th Republican Ward. He volunteers as a mentor. 

Endorsement: Philadelphia Republican Party


Elizabeth Lowe, according to Al Día, handles compliance problems at the GlaxoSmithKline, a multinational pharmaceutical firm.


John Sabatina is a ward leader and patriarch of an influential Northeast Philly political family. (His son John Sabatina Jr. was a state senator representing the 5th District and now serves as a judge.) Sabatina cites 30 years experience as an estate attorney in preparing him for the role.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee


There is one open seat on the PA Supreme Court. Voters choose one member of their party.


Deborah Kunselman is a Superior Court Judge from Beaver County. She previously served as a Court of Common Pleas judge until being elected to Superior Court in 2017. Prior to that, she spent 15 years in private practice at several Pittsburgh-area law firms. 

She is listed as “Highly Recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.


Dan McCaffery, a Philadelphia native, has served as a Superior Court Judge since 2019. Before that, he was a judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and an Assistant District Attorney.

He is ranked  “Highly Recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Endorsements: Pennsylvania Democratic Party and multiple statewide labor organizations



Carolyn Carluccio is President Judge of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. She previously served as Montco’s chief public defender and chief deputy solicitor and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. 

She is “Highly Recommended” by the PA Bar Association.


Patricia McCullough, of Allegheny County, currently serves as a judge on the Commonwealth Court. She has been involved in multiple high-profile cases regarding redistricting and elections, including her ruling in November 2020 that temporarily halted certification of PA’s election results, until it was dismissed by a higher court. 

She received a rating of “Not Recommended for failure to participate” from the PA Bar Association.


There are two open seats on Superior Court. Voters choose two members from their party.

JILL BECK (Democrat)

Jill Beck, of Allegheny County, is an attorney who practices in the areas of commercial litigation, discrimination, and appellate matters. She previously served in clerkships for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

She is rated “Highly Recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar.

Endorsement: Pennsylvania Democratic Party

PAT DUGAN (Democrat)

Pat Dugan has served as a Philadelphia Municipal Court judge since 2007 and is a military veteran. Dugan was selected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to be one of nine judges appointed to the newly instituted Judicial Ethics Advisory Board. 

The Pennsylvania Bar gave him a rating of “Not Recommended (for failure to participate).”

TIMIKA LANE (Democrat)

Lane has served on the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County since 2013. Prior to becoming a judge, Lane spent more than a decade in private practice, primarily in family law. 

She is rated “Highly Recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar.

Endorsement: Pennsylvania Democratic Party


Maria Battista of Clarion County has more than 15 years of legal experience in civil, criminal, and administrative law and is a former Assistant District Attorney. 

The Pennsylvania Bar rated her “Not Recommended (for failure to participate).”

Endorsement: Republican Party of Pennsylvania

HARRY F SMAIL (Republican)

Harry F. Smail has served as a Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas judge since 2014. Prior to his service on the bench, Smail was a sole practitioner in Greensburg, PA. 

He has a rating of “Recommended” from the Pennsylvania Bar 

Endorsement: Republican Party of Pennsylvania


There is one open seat on the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. Voters can choose one candidate from their party.

BRYAN NEFT (Democrat)

Bryan Neft of Allegheny County has been a lawyer for 32 years and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, California, Ohio and West Virginia. Early in his career, he served  as a law clerk for a Superior Court judge. 

Neft has a rating of “Recommended” from the Pennsylvania Bar.

MATT WOLF (Democrat)

Matt Wolf has served on the Philadelphia Municipal Court since 2018. Prior to this, he practiced for more than 20 years as a plaintiff’s attorney focused on employment and civil rights cases. 

He has a rating of “Recommended” from the Pennsylvania Bar.

MEGAN MARTIN (Republican)

Common Pleas before working as a special assistant to the Governor’s Office of General Counsel. 

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Pennsylvania Bar.

Endorsement: Republican Party of Pennsylvania

JOSH PRINCE (Republican)

Josh Prince of Berks County has practiced law since 2009, first working in a general law practice before forming his own law firm. Prince’s practice has focused on civil rights litigation and administrative law, and he has appeared before the bench in both civil and criminal matters in state and federal courts. 

The Pennsylvania Bar gave him a rating of “Not Recommended” out of concern that he lacks the necessary experience and preparation.


Voters can choose up to 10 candidates. Only Democrats are running in the May primary.


Qawi Abdul-Rahman has been practicing law for more than 25 years, formerly as a public defender and currently as a criminal defense attorney.

The Philadelphia Bar Association gave him a rating of “Not Recommended.”

WADE ALBERT (Democrat)

Wade Albert practices law at Stevens & Lee, focusing on employment discrimination and wage cases. He previously clerked for two trial judges on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

He has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Will Braveman serves as designated counsel for AFSCME D.C. 33 Local 696 as well as other employee groups and is a former Deputy City Solicitor in the City’s Law Department. 

He has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Jessica Brown is a union lawyer with the law firm of Willig, Williams and Davidson and a former public defender.

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.


Melissa Francis has served as an Assistant Chief Deputy in the PA Attorney General’s Office and prior to that as head of the Dangerous Drug Offenders unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.


Damaris Garcia is a trial attorney at Haddix & Associates with more than 20 years experience in civil litigation.

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Joseph Green is a former defense attorney and Assistant Chief in the Diversion Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. 

He has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.


Chelsea Lightsey is a former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney who served as  Chief of the Juvenile Justice Division and the Chief of the Homicide and Non-Fatal Shooting unit. Before earning her law degree in 2005, Lightsey was an elementary school teacher. 

She is rated “Highly Recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Judge Ken Joel is a Court of Common Pleas judge who was appointed by Governor Wolf to fill a vacancy. Prior to this, he served as the Governor’s Deputy General Counsel. 

He has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.


Just Brian McLaughlin is a judge on the Court of Common Pleas, having been appointed to fill a vacancy. 

He has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Judge John Padova is a judge on the Court of Common Pleas, having been appointed to fill a vacancy. 

He is rated “Highly Recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Natasha Taylor-Smith is an Assistant Federal Defender at the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She previously worked for the Defender Association of Philadelphia and as an Assistant County Solicitor in Montgomery County. 

She is rated “Highly Recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Prior to entering private practice in 2017, Caroline Turner served as a public defender in New Jersey courts for 10 years. As a public defender, she defended homicide, white-collar crime — the gamut.

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.


Judge Tamika Washington is a current judge on the Court of Common Pleas, having been appointed to fill a vacancy. 

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Samantha Williams is a former Assistant District Attorney who recently served as Director of Policy and Legislation for Councilmember Curtis Jones.

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party

KAY YU (Democrat)

Kay Yu has 30 years of legal experience and currently serves as a neutral arbitrator and mediator. Mayor Nutter appointed her as Chairperson of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. During the 2020 election cycle, she served as Voter Protection Director for the PA Democratic Party.

She has a rating of “Highly Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Voters can choose up to two candidates.


Melissa Francis is running simultaneously for both Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court. (See above for description.)

RANIA MAJOR (Democrat AND Republican)

Rania Major has practiced law since 1987 and owns a general litigation practice focusing on criminal, civil and family law. 

The Philadelphia Bar Association gave her a rating of “Not Recommended.”


Colleen Osborne has more than 10 years experience as a city prosecutor. She also serves as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve. 

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Barbara Thomson operates a private consultancy focused on public transportation, including planning, labor relations and sustainability. She helped SEPTA implement their Key program and aided in establishing the City ID Card program and the Hub of Hope in a SEPTA concourse below City Hall.

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Endorsement: Philadelphia Democratic Party


Caroline Turner is running simultaneously for both Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court. (See above for description.) 

She has a rating of “Recommended” from the Philadelphia Bar Association.


There are four questions on this year’s primary ballot. Any registered voter, including third-party and independent, can vote for ballot questions.

Ballot Question 1: Making Changes to the Rainy Day Fund

Should The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to expand the requirements for annual minimum appropriations to the Budget Stabilization Reserve, more commonly known as the “rainy day fund?”

This ballot question would require that Philadelphia deposit funds into its Budget Stabilization Reserve or “rainy day fund.” Currently, Philadelphia has no reserve fund. According to Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), the City of Philadelphia currently ranks near the bottom in terms of General Fund balance and reserve funds. This fund will serve as a budget safety net for the City of Philadelphia. Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson introduced this ballot question.

Ballot Question 2: Creating a Department of Workforce Solutions

Should The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to create the Division of Workforce Solutions within the Department of Commerce and to define its duties?

The Department of Commerce would oversee this new division in charge of coordinating efforts to help Philadelphians gain employment in the public and private sectors. Council President Clarke and Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson introduced this ballot question.

Ballot Question 3: Civil Service Carveout for Citizens Police Oversight Commission

Should The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to make employees of the Citizens Police Oversight Commission exempt from civil service hiring requirements?

This ballot question would exempt employees of the Citizens Police Oversight Commission from the civil service exam. All candidates for City jobs are currently required to take the civil service exam, which assesses a candidate’s knowledge and abilities to perform a certain job. In 2020, voters approved the Citizen Police Oversight Commission, which works to improve the relationship between police and the community. The Commission is already exempt from civil service, so this charter change would simply make the exemption permanent. Councilmember Curtis Jones introduced this ballot question.

Ballot Question 4: Creating a Chief Public Safety Director

Should The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to create the Office of the Chief Public Safety Director and to define its powers, duties and responsibilities? 

The Chief Public Safety Director, appointed by the Mayor, would be in charge of oversight and collaboration of safety-oriented City agencies. They would be responsible for coordinating the “public safety departments:” Police, Fire, Prisons, Parks and Recreation, Emergency Management and “all other relevant departments and agencies.” This position was proposed by Council President Darrell Clarke, Councilmembers Curtis Jones, Kenyatta Johnson, Jim Harrity, Jamie Gauthier, and Sharon Vaughn.

Every Voice, Every Vote is a collaborative project managed by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation with additional funding from The Lenfest Institute, the Wyncote Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, among others. To learn more about the project and view a full list of supporters, visit Editorial content is created independently of the project’s donors.


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