On November 7 — Election Day 2023 — all 17 seats on Philadelphia City Council were up for grabs: 10 geography-based district seats and seven at-large seats. As of early November 8, all district incumbents had re-won their seats, and one at-large seat was still up for grabs.
The general election included Democratic and Republican primary winners plus third-party candidates such as the Working Families Party. Here’s who won and who lost (so far).
AT-LARGE CANDIDATES FOR CITY COUNCIL
DEMOCRATIC PARTY / WORKING FAMILIES PARTY
At-large incumbents running who ran for their jobs again: Kendra Brooks (Working Families Party / WP), Katherine Gilmore Richardson (Democrat / D), Jim Harrity (D, chosen in 2022 by special election) and Isaiah Thomas (D).
DISTRICT CANDIDATES FOR CITY COUNCIL
1ST DISTRICT / 2ND DISTRICT / 3RD DISTRICT / 4TH DISTRICT / 5TH DISTRICT / 6TH DISTRICT / 7TH DISTRICT / 8TH DISTRICT / 9TH DISTRICT / 10TH DISTRICT
District incumbents who ran for round: Mark Squilla (D), Kenyatta Johnson (D), Jamie Gauthier (D), Curtis Jones Jr. (D), Mike Driscoll (D), Quetcy Lozada (D, special election), Anthony Phillips (D, special election), Cindy Bass (D) and Brian O’Neill (R).
AT-LARGE CANDIDATES FOR CITY COUNCIL
Rules dictate that a minimum of two at-large seats on City Council go to members of the non-majority party.
After decades of those two minority seats belonging to Republicans, in 2019, Kendra Brooks of the Working Families Party took an at-large seat. This year, with at-large Republican David Oh having resigned from Council in order to run for mayor, another minority seat was up for grabs.
AT-LARGE CANDIDATES: DEMOCRATS
NINA AHMAD: WINNER
Ahmad is a former Deputy Mayor for Public Engagement (the City of Philadelphia office that works on community outreach and engagement), where she launched the Commission on Women. She’s currently state president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and formerly a 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.
At age 21, Ahmad immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh and earned a PhD in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her family in Mt. Airy and served for nine years on the board of the Philadelphia Foundation. This would be her first time holding elected office.
Endorsements: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee, 3.14 Action Fund, AAWPI, AFSCME DC 33 and 1739, API PA, Black Clergy of Philadelphia, IBEW 98, IUPAT DC 21, National Organization for Women (Philadelphia chapter), Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council, Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19, Sierra Club, South Asians for America, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Tribune; Brendan Boyle, Dwight Evans, Art Haywood, Vincent Hughes, Kenyatta Johnson, Curtis Jones Jr., Darisha Parker
Money raised, as of 6/5/2023: $606,422
KATHERINE GILMORE RICHARDSON (1-term Incumbent): WINNER
In 2020, 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, spending 11 years as a legislative aide, 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.
Money raised as of 6/5/23: $325,052
JIM HARRITY (Incumbent by special election in 2022): WINNER
During a November 2022 special election, voters elected Harrity — with 80 percent of the vote on the ballot with Republican Drew Murray and Libertarian Poetica Bey — to City Council to replace Allan Domb, who resigned to run for mayor. 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 became the political director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party under Street. 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.
Endorsements: Democratic City Committee
Money raised as of 5/19/23: $209,275
RUE LANDAU: WINNER
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 and reside with their family in Bella Vista.
Although no stranger to City Hall, this would be Landau’s first time holding elected office.
Money raised as of 6/5/23: $386,038
ISAIAH THOMAS (1-term Incumbent): WINNER
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 has rallied against gun violence and its outcomes on children — he’s a 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. Thomas hosts an annual Black-owned business crawl. He 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.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $76,203
AT-LARGE CANDIDATES: WORKING FAMILIES PARTY
KENDRA BROOKS (1-term incumbent): WINNER
Kendra Brooks is the first third-party candidate to win a seat on Council since 1980. Prior to joining Council, she’d been an activist, community organizer and teacher at Easterseals. She’s also a single mom who worked as a nursing assistant to put herself through Community College of Philadelphia, then Temple, then Eastern University.
Brooks’ organizing work has centered around women’s rights, disability rights, homelessness and neighborhood schools. She is known for successfully fighting Mastery Charter’s attempted takeover of Steel Elementary School (which was on the District’s turnaround list again three years later).
On Council, she’s championed stable, affordable housing, hosting and co-hosting hearings on the Landlord-Tenant Office and rent control. In 2021, she introduced the Renters’ Access Act to prohibit landlords from discriminating against applicants based on prior evictions. She’d like the City to stop using private contractors to perform evictions, and wants the entire eviction process reviewed. Brooks also joined Senator Elizabeth Warren in advocating for a Philadelphia wealth tax.
Brooks has listed fighting for workers and a fairer economy, creating the opportunity for housing for all, treating gun violence as a health crisis, protecting reproductive rights, enacting environmental justice, and investing in public schools as her top priorities.
Money raised as of 6/5/23: $56,721
NICOLAS O'ROURKE: WINNER
O’Rourke won his second run for an at-large seat on City Council. He cites his working-class family background as his inspiration for involvement in the Working Families Party. Proudly religious, he’s served as a youth and covenant minster at Living Water United Church of Christ in Oxford Circle in Northeast Philadelphia.
O’Rourke is running on a platform of creating an economy that supports families and affordable and accessible housing (including eviction prevention). He wants to eliminate gun violence and White supremacy in Philadelphia, protect reproductive rights, and advance racial, criminal and climate justice.
Money raised as of 6/4/23: $69,931
Endorsements: PA Working Families Party, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance, Amistad Power Movement, One Pennsylvania, Reclaim Philadelphia, Kendra Brooks
DISTRICT CANDIDATES FOR CITY COUNCIL
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): WINNER
The bread-and-butter of this South Philly native (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.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $392,520
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): WINNER
This Southwest Philly Councilmember 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.
Money raised as of 5/18/23: $262,529
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): WINNER
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.
Money raised as of 6/5/23: $241,745
Allegheny West, Belmont Village, East Falls, Manayunk, Overbrook, Overbrook Park, Roxborough, Wynnefield and sections of West Philadelphia
CURTIS JONES JR. (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent): WINNER
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.
Money raised as of 12/31/22: $173,055
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.
JEFFREY YOUNG JR. (Democrat): WINNER
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.
Young is a graduate of Girard College, Temple University and Rutgers School of Law in Newark. He has listed the issues he will prioritize as: reduce gun violence, improve educational outcomes, target investment in youth, reform public safety institutions, create economic opportunities, and ensure sustainable and equitable development. This would be his first time holding elected office.
Money raised as of 2/7/23: $9,500
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): WINNER
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. He and his family reside in Torresdale.
Money raised as of 6/5/23: $129,081
Castor Gardens, Fairhill, Feltonville, Frankford, Harrowgate, Hunting Park, Juniata, Kensington, Oxford Circle and Wissinoming.
QUETCY LOZADA (Democrat / partial-term Incumbent): WINNER
Lozada joined Council in a special election following the 2022 resignation of her former boss, former 7th District Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez. 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.
Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill, Logan and parts of Olney, West Oak Lane, North Philadelphia and Feltonville.
CINDY BASS (Democrat / 3-term Incumbent): WINNER
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.
Money raised as of 6/8/23: $354,744
Mt. Airy, West Oak Lane, East Oak Lane, Olney, Fern Rock, Logan, Oxford Circle, Lawncrest, Burholme and Summerdale
ANTHONY PHILLIPS (Democrat / partial-term Incumbent): WINNER
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 holds an undergraduate degree from Bates College, a Master’s from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Afro-American studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a devout Christian.
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.
Endorsements: Philadelphia Democratic City Committee
Money raised as of 5/26/23: $239,755
Northeast Philadelphia: Bustleton, Fox Chase, Rhawnhurst
BRIAN O’NEILL (Republican / 11-term Incumbent): WINNER
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.
Endorsements: Philadelphia Republican Party
Money raised as of 5/11/23: $46,450
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