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Vote in the primary April 23

The primary election is coming up on Tuesday, April 23, and the general election is on Tuesday, November 5. Make sure you are registered to vote and cast your ballot!  Here is everything you need to know about how to vote.

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The Ultimate 2024 PA Primary Election Guide

The April 23 race includes important Attorney General, State Auditor and Senate races. Oh yeah, and that Presidential thing

The Ultimate 2024 PA Primary Election Guide

The April 23 race includes important Attorney General, State Auditor and Senate races. Oh yeah, and that Presidential thing

Another year, another primary election season ending on April 23, 2024. You (should) already know who’s running for president in your party. Here’s why you should care about everything else: The local and regional votes you cast in this election have a much greater influence on your day-to-day life than whoever is occupying the White House.

The most important race of the primary is for PA Attorney General, the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the state — also the person who will lead in the case of a PA post-election insurrection, and who will protect our rights in the event of federal overreach in the next administration. (Read more about why this matters.)

This year, Philadelphia voters are also deciding on state representatives and senators, and legal protections for RCOs against developers. Also at stake: The balance of power in the General Assembly in Harrisburg, where Democrats currently have a one-vote majority.

The City’s complete list of candidates on the ballot is here. See below for more about who’s running.

PA ATTORNEY GENERAL

Former PA Attorney General (and later, Governor) Tom Corbett, describes the AG’s job this way: “You collect by suit and otherwise all debts, taxes and accounts due to the commonwealth, represent the commonwealth and law agencies in any action brought by or against the commonwealth, you administer the provisions relating to consumer protection and antitrust laws. That’s just a summary. There’s a lot more beyond that.”

“A lot more” includes, as The Citizen’s Larry Platt notes, protecting what we hold dear: “When one of the (gulp) nation’s leading presidential candidates has talked about terminating the Constitution, using the Justice Department to punish his political opponents, and deploying U.S. troops on domestic soil, who will be standing in the way of such Putinism? Who, in other words, will stand for the Rule of Law? Elected AGs, that’s who.”

Keir Bradford-Grey, Democrat

The former Philadelphia Chief Public Defender, Keir Bradford-Grey is the progressive prosecutor of the bunch. If elected, she’d be the first Black woman and the first public defender to occupy the AG’s office.

In Philadelphia, Bradford-Grey started the city’s pre-entry initiative that replaces cash bail with community services. More than a decade ago, then-County Commissioner Josh Shapiro appointed Bradford-Grey to be Chief Defender for Montgomery County, a connection she has touted in her campaign. Today, Bradford-Grey is announcing the support of State Senators Vincent Hughes and Anthony Williams; City Councilmembers Curtis Jones, Quetcy Lozada and Jamie Gauthier, and Laborers Local 332 Business Manager Sam Staten, Jr. and Laborers Local 57 Business Manager Esteban Vera.

If elected, Bradford-Grey — who would be the first public defender to hold the job — says she will focus on strong consumer protections and criminal justice reform. The question for Bradford-Grey: After Krasner in Philly and Allegheny County’s recent rejection of a progressive prosecutor, has the tide turned on the movement?

Keir Bradford-Grey’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Working Families Party, EMILY’S List, PA Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, the Collective PAC

Eugene DePasquale, Democrat

Having already run and won statewide, the former state representative (2007-2012) and two-term Auditor General (2013-2020) likely leads the pack in name recognition. As the Commonwealth’s chief watchdog, DePasquale made headlines issuing groundbreaking reports that unearthed over 3,217 untested rape kits; three years later, that number had been reduced by 90 percent. He also uncovered 42,000 unanswered calls to the state child abuse hotline. Both of these reports led to significant changes in policies. As a three-term state rep, DePasquale came up short in his challenge to Congressman (and election denier) Scott Perry in 2020.

While he lacks prosecutorial experience, the Widener Law graduate, University of Pittsburgh professor and attorney in private practice argues that his insider Harrisburg knowledge gives him a leg up. Also to his advantage is his Pittsburgh base in a race overrun with Southeastern PA candidates. As AG, DePasquale says he will focus on reducing gun crime, increasing consumer protections such as student loan and healthcare access, and protecting LGBTQ and transgender youth in school.

Eugene DePasquale’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, Central PA Building Trades, Human Rights Campaign, League of Conservation Voters, National Education Association

Joe Khan, Democrat

You may remember Joe Khan from his impressive run for Philadelphia DA in 2017, when he was endorsed by former Governor (and former DA) Ed Rendell and finished second in the Democratic primary to Larry Krasner. He’s since served as Bucks County Solicitor, where he has sued social media companies and fought Trump’s challenges to his county’s mail-in ballots in the 2020 election.

A former Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia and a one-time federal prosecutor, Khan joins Stollsteimer as the only experienced prosecutors among the Democratic field. Khan’s family immigrated from Pakistan, and he has stressed that, as AG, he’d connect with immigrant communities across the state.

Khan prioritizes affordable healthcare, access to abortion (he wrote an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court), and he has pledged to form a housing justice unit. He has worked to protect the Delaware River from fracking and brought a major lawsuit against 3M, Dupont, and Tyco for using forever chemicals, or PFAS, in their manufacturing. He is the brother of current Philadelphia State Representative Tarkin Khan.

Joe Khan’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance, State Sens. Katie Muth, Nikil Saval and Steve Santarsiero, 15 state representatives, Clean Air Action

Jared Solomon, Democrat

Northeast Philly State Representative Jared Solomon has been an outspoken advocate for good government since his 2016 election and has shown a willingness to work across party lines. He has introduced legislation to open Pennsylvania’s primary elections to nonpartisan voters and, after Philadelphia Councilmember Bobby Henon was convicted of public corruption, introduced a measure that would allow PA voters to recall elected officials.

The Villanova Law grad is a former JAG officer and a prodigious fundraiser, and currently sits as the majority chair of the House Veteran Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee. Solomon passed a bill in 2022 to provide 10-year tax abatements to developers who build affordable housing and repair homes. Some of Solomon’s issues include expanding community policing and passing gun control bills, such as expanding background checks and closing the ghost gun loophole. (Solomon is also running unopposed for his current seat representing the 202nd District in the General Assembly.)

Jared Solomon’s campaign website

Select endorsements: 19 State House colleagues, including majority leader Matt Bradford, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, Philadelphia Firefighters’ and Paramedics’ Union, IAFF Local 22

Jack Stollsteimer, Democrat

In 2019, Jack Stollsteimer became the first Democratic District Attorney in Delaware County history, a position he still holds. He’s demonstrated a blue-collar appeal, owing to his Upper Darby upbringing in a union household. One of only two prosecutors among the Democratic candidates, Stollsteimer has made a name for himself as a pragmatic progressive, implementing the Chester Partnership for Safe Neighborhoods program, which has led to a stunning 68 percent reduction in gun-related homicides.

He has said his top priorities in office would be stopping wage theft of workers and reducing gun violence. (A former assistant U.S. attorney, he served on a national gun violence task force.) He was also the top vote-getter during Democratic Party conventions in Southeastern Pennsylvania, garnering party endorsements in Chester and Delaware counties, and coming close in Montgomery, too.

Jack Stollsteimer’s campaign website

Select endorsements: IBEW Local 98, the Philadelphia Building Trades Council, Delaware County FOP

David Sunday, Republican

Since 2018, Sunday has been District Attorney of York County, where he served as chief deputy prosecutor under his predecessor. He gained notoriety after being appointed special assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to prosecute federal gang, gun and drug cases. As DA, he’s prioritized taking on the opioid epidemic, reforming the probation and parole system, and combating human trafficking. As AG, he’d be similarly law-enforcement focused. Sunday serves on the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and the American Conservative Union’s prosecutor advisory board.

David Sunday’s campaign website

Select endorsements: PA Republican Party, Republican Attorneys General Association, Pennsylvania Sheriffs Association PAC

Craig Williams, Republican

Representing the 160th District of the State House, which covers parts of Chester and Delaware counties, Craig Williams is a highly decorated Marine and Florida State College of Law graduate who served as the impeachment manager against Larry Krasner in the House and has compared his Republican opponent, David Sunday, to Krasner. Williams served as deputy legal counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was a federal prosecutor, and worked 10 years as a lawyer for PECO. Losing the Republican endorsement to Sunday hasn’t deterred Williams, who says we need an AG who “focuses on prosecution, not political posturing.”

Craig Wiliams’ campaign website

AUDITOR GENERAL

The office of the Pennsylvania auditor general, known elsewhere as a controller or auditor of public accounts, oversees how the Commonwealth spends taxpayer money. The office conducts audits of state schools, district courts, county offices and municipal pensions. Post-audit, they report their findings and make recommendations. A PA auditor general can serve for up to two four-year terms.

Timothy DeFoor, Republican

Tim DeFoor was elected Pennsylvania’s auditor general in 2020, beating out current Philadelphia City Councilmember At-Large Nina Ahmad for the job by three points. The first person of color ever to fill a statewide row office, DeFoor has a long history of working in government. He began his career as a special investigator with the Office of Inspector General and later became Dauphin County controller, where he worked to create the county’s first audit division.

DeFoor mostly stuck to the basics as auditor general, such as auditing municipal funds, with one exception. He took the controversial step of closing his office’s Bureau of School Audits, laying off 11 workers, and handing the responsibility to the Department of Education. He also accused five Philadelphia-area school districts (and four more across the state) of increasing property taxes when they had sufficient funds; critics have said he misunderstood the budgeting process. During his reelection announcement, DeFoor said he has run the office “free of political and partisan influence.”

Timothy DeFoor’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Pennsylvania Republican Party

Malcolm Kenyatta, Democrat

Since 2018, Malcolm Kenyatta has been a state representative for North Philadelphia. When elected at age 28, he became the first openly LGBTQ+ person of color in PA’s General Assembly.

Kenyatta has been an outspoken advocate for voting rights and criminal justice reform. He was named both chair of President Biden’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans and a member of the National Advisory Board for the Biden Harris 2024 reelection campaign. When he announced his run for auditor general, he said it was time for a younger generation of leadership, and promised to open a Bureau of Labor and Worker Protections to investigate union busting and wage theft. He says he would increase transparency among hospitals and care providers that use state dollars, review PA’s approach to gun violence reduction, and reclaim the office’s responsibility for school compliance audits.

In 2022, Kenyatta ran for the U.S. Senate and lost to John Fetterman in the primary. He is also running for another term as state representative (see below).

Malcolm Kenyatta’s Auditor General campaign website

Select endorsements: Pennsylvania Democratic Party, Working Families Party, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO Philadelphia, building trades, House Speaker Joanna McClinton

Mark Pinsley, Democrat

Mark Pinsley has served as Lehigh County Controller since 2020. Before that, he was a commissioner in Whitehall Township, spent three decades in private business, and served in the Army Reserve.

Pinsley touts himself as the only candidate with experience in auditing and cites his accomplishments of saving his county $3 million in workforce healthcare spending and $100,000 in banking fees. If elected, he has said he would focus on auditing the state’s county children’s welfare system and election departments. He would like to study the impact of underfunding public schools, evaluate the state’s workforce development programs, look for more healthcare savings, investigate wage theft, study gun violence, and divest state funds from companies that support anti-abortion causes.

In February, Pinsley’s campaign came under fire for forging signatures on his nominating petitions, an accusation he did not dispute but did claim was politically-motivated. (Candidates running for statewide office must collect signatures from every county in PA before being able to appear on the ballot.)

Mark Pinsley’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Vote Vets, Parents’ Medical Rights Group (in Lehigh County)

TREASURER

The Pennsylvania Office of the State Treasurer oversees more than $150 billion in state funds (including investments), receiving and depositing state monies. A PA treasurer can serve for up to two four-year terms.

Stacy Garrity, Republican

Current Treasurer Stacy Garrity is running for her first reelection campaign. Before joining elected office, she was a cost accountant at refractory powder manufacturer Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. A retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, Garrity twice received the Bronze Star for exceptional service.  As treasurer, she has worked to expand and reform PA 529 higher-ed saving accounts, upgrade her department’s unclaimed property system, signed and invested $20 million in Israel Bonds, and objected to ESG investing, especially when it comes to climate change. Garrity is a member of the State Financial Officers Foundation (which also objects to climate change-based investing) and the inaugural chair of the ABLE Savings Plan Network, a National Association of State Treasurers group championing tax-advantaged savings for people with eligible disabilities.

Having backed Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 presidential election, Garrity became the first state official to endorse Trump for reelection.

Stacy Garrity’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Republican Party of Pennsylvania, Life PAC

Ryan Bizzarro, Democrat

Six-term Erie County State Representative Ryan Bizzarro easily won the Pennsylvania Democratic Party endorsement for Treasurer. As a state representative, he authored “Libre’s Law” to strengthen animal neglect and cruelty laws; he also supported veterans courts. Bizzarro sits on the state’s Climate Change Advisory Committee and chairs the Democratic Policy Committee. Before his election, he worked in criminal justice and behavioral health.

Throughout his campaign, Bizzarro has focused on criticizing current State Treasurer Stacy Garrity’s views. He has denounced her support for former President Trump and her ties to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He’s also called her out for her anti-abortion stances and recently said she should be banned from office. Bizzarro has said that if elected, he will focus on programs to help families save for college, strengthen programs for seniors, and provide low-interest loans to small businesses. 

Ryan Bizzarro’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Pennsylvania Democratic Party, PA AFL-CIO, former PA Treasurer Joe Torsella, House Speaker Joanna McClinton, Rep. Dwight Evans, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon

Erin McClelland, Democrat

Erin McClelland is an addiction counselor and small business entrepreneur from Western PA who has worked as a practice improvement collaborative manager for the Institute of Research Education and Training in Addiction and in performance management in the Allegheny County DHS. Having run for Congress in 2014 and 2016, she is running for state treasurer to, her bio says, “improve government systems, processes, and policies while advocating for our public sector workers.” She would like to increase transparency and reform the state’s supply chain.

In February 2024, her campaign came under fire for accepting donations before she registered a fundraising committee. 

Erin McClellan’s campaign website

U.S. SENATE

 

Until recently, there were five candidates running for one Pennsylvania seat in the almost evenly split U.S. Senate (with 49 Republicans, 48 Democrats, 3 Independents). Now, Democrat William Parker and Republicans Brandi Tomasetti and Joseph Vodvarka have dropped out, and the contest is down to the two frontrunners: Democratic Senator Bob Casey and Republican challenger David McCormick. Both are unopposed in the primary for their respective parties. This race is promising to be one of the country’s most expensive.

(John Fetterman occupies PA’s other Senate seat.)

Robert Casey Jr., Democrat

Bob Casey Jr. is running for his fourth term as Pennsylvania’s senior senator in the U.S. Senate. Already he’s the longest-serving Democratic U.S. Senator in PA history. The son of former PA Governor Robert P. Casey was first elected in 2006, beating conservative Senator Rick Santorum. Raised in Scarton, Casey attended law school at Catholic University and spent eight years in PA government as Auditor General and State Treasurer.

In the Senate, Casey is viewed as a moderate who champions policies protecting older people, children, people with disabilities and working-class families. He spearheaded the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE), which allows for tax advantage saving accounts for individuals to save funds for disability expenses. He is the chairman of the Senate Aging Committee and was instrumental in helping nursing homes and older adults during Covid and introduced the “Heroes Fund” in 2020 to provide premium pay to essential workers. Most recently, Casey was a vocal supporter of Biden’s Build Back Better Plan, specifically a measure providing $250 million for states to expand care for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

A staunch Catholic who has long been considered anti-choice, he now supports a law that would guarantee abortion rights. Casey has a close relationship with President Biden and has strongly supported many of his policies, including lowering the cost of prescription drugs and passing infrastructure legislation.

Select endorsements: PA Democratic Party, National Democratic Committee, AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, National Education Association (NEA), National Resources Defense Council, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Giffords PAC (gun safety), Mayor Cherelle Parker

Senator Bob Casey’s campaign website

David McCormick, Republican

Washington, PA, native Dave McCormick is a businessperson, West Point graduate and Iraq combat veteran with a PhD from Princeton. McCormick served as Under Secretary of Treasury and Deputy National Security Advisor under President George W. Bush. In 2022, he ran in the Senate Republican primary and lost in a close race to Trump-endorsed Dr. Oz. (Oz then lost to Democrat John Fetterman.)

McCormick has taken a strong stance against China and advocated for removing the country from the World Health Organization and “revoking the benefits” of trade relations, including halting Chinese-to-U.S. import of solar panels, semiconductors and lithium batteries. Early in 2024, McCormick traveled to the Israel-Gaza border to emphasize his support of Israel and contrast himself to Biden, whom he said was doing too little for Israel. Following Super Tuesday, he endorsed Donald Trump as president.

McCormick retired in 2022 as an executive for the global hedge fund firm Bridgewater Associates. He’s a multimillionaire who has touted his PA roots in commercials. Although he currently has two homes in Western PA, he has long spent most of his time with his family in their Westport, CT mansion. (He also has homes in Dallas, TX, and Colorado, and recently sold his Manhattan condo.) McCormick super PAC Keystone Renewal has attracted attention for its large donations from Wall Street investors, including $18 million from Ken Griffin of Citadel, Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone, and Paul Singer of Elliott Management.

Select endorsements: Pennsylvania’s Republican congressional delegation, National Republican Campaign Committee

David McCormick’s campaign website

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

3rd Congressional District

Northwest, West and some of South Philadelphia

Dwight Evans, Democrat

Dwight Evans, U.S. Congressman from the 3rd District since 2016, is seeking his fifth term. Evans served as a PA House of Representatives member for more than 35 years and chaired the powerful Appropriations Committee for over 20 years. In Washington, D.C., he has worked to secure funding for affordable housing across Philadelphia. Evans has a $51 billion plan to address gun violence in the United States. He beat his opponent by nearly a 4-to-1 vote margin in his most recent reelection campaign.

Dwight Evans’ campaign website

Select endorsements: Congressional Black Caucus, League of Conservation Voters, PA AFL-CIO, National Education Association, UFCW 1176

Tracey Gordon, Democrat

Former Philadelphia Register of Wills Tracey Gordon is seeking to upset Dwight Evans. After one term in City Hall, Gordon became known for her work in tangled titles — and for controversies, including firing employees who would not contribute to her campaign. In 2023, she lost her Register of Wills reelection bid to John Sabatina Sr.

Tracey Gordon’s campaign website


5th Congressional District

Delaware County, an exclave of Chester County, a slice of Montgomery County, and a sliver of South Philadelphia

Mary Gay Scanlon, Democrat

Mary Gay Scanlon has represented the 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2019. Before running for Congress, she was a lawyer at Ballard Spahr and an attorney at the Education Law Center. She serves on the House Committee on Rules and the House Judiciary Committee and is a ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government. She has strongly advocated for President Joe Biden and helped secure an $80 million grant for SEPTA to invest in low-to-no emissions buses.

Mary Gay Scanlon’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Philadelphia Democratic Party, Delaware County Democratic Party, Philadelphia AFL-CIO, National Education Association, Moms Demand Action, Giffords, End Citizens United, Sierra Club

Alfeia “Alfe” DeVaughn-Goodwin, Republican

Alfeia De-Vaughn-Goodwin is a veteran Army chaplain, retired Philadelphia police officer, and ordained minister who’s volunteered with Girl Scouts of America.

No campaign website.


2nd Congressional District

Northeast, some of North Philadelphia, and much of the River Wards

Brendan Boyle, Democrat

Brendan Boyle is running for his fifth term in Congress after being elected in 2014, and after seven years in the PA House of Representatives. Before serving in elected office, Boyle worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense. The son of Irish immigrants, he was the first person in his family to attend college, choosing the University of Notre Dame, then Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the brother of current State Rep. Kevin Boyle.

Boyle is known for championing income equality and expanded access to education and healthcare. He co-founded and chairs the Blue Collar Caucus, which focuses on stabilizing and growing manufacturing and business trades. He’s backed President Biden at every turn, joined progressives to introduce the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act in 2021, and is currently a ranking member of the House Budget Committee. He’s also joined Congress’ Philadelphia delegation in seeking federal funding to remediate decaying Philadelphia school buildings.

Brendan Boyle’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Philadelphia Democratic Committee, Congressman Hakeem Jefferies, building and trade unions

Aaron Bashir, Republican

Haroon “Aaron” Bashir migrated to the U.S. from Pakistan in 2001 and became a U.S. citizen in 2006. He worked as an accountant for the City of Philadelphia for a decade, as well as an adjunct professor and entrepreneur, and has an MBA from Lasalle University. Bashir faced and lost the PA State Rep’s race to Kevin Boyle in 2020, lost a race for the 2nd District seat to Brendan Boyle in 2022, and lost the Philadelphia city controller’s job to Christy Brady in 2023. A devout Christian who believes in faith healing, Bashir is focused on lowering taxes and reducing government involvement in everyday people’s lives.

Aaron Bashir’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Republican Party of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA DELEGATES TO THE STATE SENATE

The PA Senate is the upper house of Pennsylvania’s legislative body, and the final stop for bills created in the house. Like the US Senate, it is smaller than the lower house. Unlike the US Senate, which gives each State two seats evenly, State Senators all represent proportional districts. Republicans currently hold a 28-22 majority, with 25 seats up for election in 2024.

Incumbent Democrats Nikil Saval (1st District), Sharif Street (3rd District) and Vincent Hughes (7th District) are running unopposed.


5th District

Parts of Northeast Philadelphia (Somerton, Bustleton, Pennypack Park, Torresdale, Homesburg, Bridesburg, including some of the River Wards of Tacony and Port Richmond)

Jimmy Dillon, Democrat

Jimmy Dillon joined the State Senate in 2022 with experience as a grant compliance manager for the School District of Philadelphia, the owner of Hoops 24/7 Basketball Academy, and a former Notre Dame point guard. He has sponsored and cosponsored a number of bills, including SB842, the “Respect the Whistle” act to enhance harassment protections for sports officials, and a bill to make June 2 “Jason Kelce Day.” He’s also a proponent of strengthening worker protections, gun regulation, health insurance benefits, and safeguarding elections from AI interference. Dillon is the Democratic chair of the Communications and Technology Committee.

Jimmy Dillon’s campaign website

Joe Picozzi, Republican

Somerton native Joe Picozzi is a senior advisor in strategic planning at the conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute, worked as an assistant to U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, and is a graduate of Georgetown University. According to The Northeast Times, he’s “running to preserve the ‘Northeast Philly dream.’” Picozzi’s concerns include quality of life issues such as litter, the cost of living, and White flight — along with crime. His candidacy announcement read, “We’re seeing shoplifting, car racing, burglaries and violent crime make their way from the inner city to our homes, in a way they never did 10 years ago.”

Joe Picozzi’s campaign website

CANDIDATES FOR REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

State Representatives are all elected on even-numbered years to two-year terms. Some voters will see a single uncontested incumbent on the ballot for their district. Democrats in other parts of the city will see very competitive races on their ballots, such as the three-way race in West Philly’s 10th district. Republicans are running in only a few of the 26 districts.

Whereas U.S. representatives each serve about 707,000 people, state reps serve small districts of about 62,500 residents, making them way too small for most media market advertising. The size makes these races much more grassroots, even personal. If you know the candidates in your area, it’s likely through door-knocking, house parties and community outreach rather than radio and TV.

Below are the Districts with more than one primary candidate on the ballot. For the others, refer to the City Commissioners’ online list of candidates.

10th District

Parts of West Philadelphia, including Mantua, Powelton and parts of University City and Logan Square

Sajda Blackwell, Democrat

Sajda “Purple” Blackwell is a radio personality, co-founder of Blackwell Culture Alliance (a nonprofit community center that distributes food to West Philly families), town watch organizer, subsidizer of nonviolent music, and, by marriage, part of a long-time West Philadelphia political family. Her husband’s grandparents are the late U.S. Rep. Lucien Blackwell and former 3rd District City Councilmember Jannie Blackwell. Blackwell says she’s committed to public safety, financial intelligence, equity in education, reducing poverty and community revitalization.

Endorsements: Grocery store entrepreneur and 2023 mayoral candidate Jeff Brown

Sajda Blackwell’s campaign website

Amen Brown, Democrat, incumbent

When Amen Brown joined the state senate in 2021, he was the third senator to serve the district in four years (after illegal dealings forced two predecessors to end their terms early). In the job, Brown has proven a moderate whose main issues are fighting crime, protecting victims and advancing development. These issues come to Brown somewhat naturally: As one of eight kids with a single job and incarcerated dad, the Overbrook High School grad lived with gun violence and poverty. Prior to elected office, he ran daycare centers and invested in real estate.

Brown ran for mayor of Philadelphia in 2023 and won 2 percent of the vote after a campaign mired in questions about his real estate dealings (and unpaid taxes) and lack of knowledge of the city budget.

Select endorsements: U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, PA Sen. Sharif Street, PA Sen. Vincent Hughes, PA House Speaker Joanna McClinton

Amen Brown’s campaign website

Cass Green, Democrat

Cass ​​Green is a progressive community activist, creative, and the co-founder of Mill Creek Community Partnership (and founder of their community arts initiative). Green has worked at People’s Emergency Center, the New Kensington CDC and, currently, the District Attorney’s office, where she does restorative justice and juvenile diversion work. She’s criticized Brown’s support of imposing mandatory minimum sentences and expanding charter schools.

Select Endorsements: State Sen. Nikil Saval, DA Larry Krasner, Philadelphia City Councilmembers Kendra Brooks, Jamie Gauthier and Nicolas O’Rourke

Cass Green’s campaign website


172nd District

Parts of Northeast Philadelphia, including Fox Chase, Burlholme and Rhawnhurst, plus Rockledge, Montgomery County

Kevin J. Boyle, Democrat, incumbent

Kevin Boyle is running for his eighth term as a PA representative, a role he’s occupied since 2011 upon defeating Republican John Perzel, who was house speaker. The current minority chair of the Government Committee graduated from Cardinal Dougherty High School and holds a master’s in education from Harvard. Prior to taking office, he worked for the national family services org Alliance for Strong Families and Community and as legislative director for former Philadelphia City Councilmember Bill Greenlee.

In Harrisburg, Boyle sponsored and cosponsored legislation on common sense gun reform, increasing health insurance access, reforming elections, expanding educational opportunities for pre-K and DREAMers, and including protections for LGBTQ+ people in the state’s hate crimes law.

He’s been forthcoming about his struggles with mental health. In September 2021, his ex-wife had him arrested for harassment and violating a protection from abuse order (charges were later dropped). In February 2024, Rockledge, Montgomery County police removed him from a bar where he was allegedly causing a disturbance. (This incident is currently under investigation.) Boyle is the younger brother of U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle.

Kevin Boyle’s campaign website

Sean Dougherty, Democrat

Sean Dougherty is an attorney who resigned as a public defender to run for office after the video of Kevin Boyle’s bar incident circulated on social media. Dougherty holds a law degree from Temple and clerked under Dan McCaffery, now a state Supreme Court justice.

The 30-year-old son of PA Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty is also the nephew of former labor leader John Dougherty, who was convicted on more than 60 counts of conspiracy and embezzlement in December 2023. (During Johnny Doc’s trial, Sean was repeatedly mentioned in connection with a no-show job.)

No campaign website.

Aizaz Gill, Republican

Aizaz Gill is the president of the Burholme townwatch who has worked in community outreach for former City Commissioner Al Schmidt, as City Councilmember Brian O’Neill’s reelection campaign manager, and as PA policy director for Business for America, a bipartisan coalition of business leaders promoting civic participation and voter turnout. A graduate of Father Judge High School and Chestnut Hill College, Gill moved with his family from South Asia to the Great Northeast when he was a child. His focuses include community safety, education — including school choice — reversing inflation, and impeaching Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Aizaz Gill’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Philadelphia Republican City Committee

Patrick Gushue, Republican

Patrick Gushue is a trainer for Get it Done Consulting, a defense contractor employee training company, and a former Army Ranger. The Father Judge High School and Gwynedd Mercy University graduate is currently pursuing a master’s in public administration at Penn. In 2023, he worked on Sam Oropeza’s unsuccessful campaign for City Council. Gushue has touted his commitment to veterans and school choice. He supports impeaching Larry Krasner and hiring a special prosecutor for SEPTA.

Patrick Gushue’s campaign website

Select endorsements: Sam Oropeza


181st District

A slice of North Philadelphia around 10th Street from Spring Garden Street to Glenwood Avenue

NaDerah Griffin, Democrat

NaDerah Griffin is a former Philadelphia public school teacher and project manager and instructor for the District’s Bright Solar Futures, a program that trains youth to install solar panels. She has also been a board member for North Philly based Serenity Soular. In 2023, she ran unsuccessfully for City Council at-large. She has cited many concerns — crime, the cost of living, displacement, mass incarceration, voting access and rights, with a special focus on improving education for the least served. 

No campaign website.

Malcolm Kenyatta, Democrat, incumbent

Malcolm Kenyatta has been a PA state representative since 2018. Elected at age 28, he was the first openly LGBTQ+ person of color in PA’s General Assembly, where he chairs both the Subcommittee on Financial Services and Banking and the Subcommittee on Government Operations. Legislation he’s sponsored and cosponsored includes allowing Philadelphia to enact and enforce stronger gun laws, increasing transparency in campaign finance, codifying and expanding the Office of Environmental Justice, and LGBTQ+ centered issues such as protecting minors from conversion therapy and prohibiting health insurance providers from declining coverage to people on PrEP.

Kenyatta has also led in voting rights and criminal justice reform. He was named both chair of President Biden’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans and a member of the National Advisory Board for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s 2024 reelection campaign.

In 2022, Kenyatta ran for the U.S. Senate and lost to John Fetterman in the primary. He is also running for auditor general (see above).

Malcolm Kenyatta’s campaign website

Lewis Nash Sr., Democrat

This is the second time North Philly Ward leader Lewis Nash Sr. is challenging Malcolm Kenyatta for a representative spot in the General Assembly. He is the founder and pastor of Faith and Deliverance Kingdom Worship Center at 1510 W. Stiles Street and the founder of Mankind Against Poverty Holistic CDC, whose stated mission is to help with housing, food and literacy to the Greater Philadelphia area.

In February 2024, The Inquirer reported on an August 2023 meeting where Nash, the Democrats’ 47th Ward leader, “expressed concerns about public policy involving LGBTQ children, and he espoused multiple debunked theories that have been popularized in largely right-wing circles.” Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Kenyatta both denounced Nash’s words. For this reason, on April 4, 2024, the Democratic City Committee stripped Nash of his ward leadership position — a rare move that, according to DCC chair Bob Brady, last happened more than 20 years ago.

Lewis Nash Sr.’s campaign website


188th District

Parts of West and Southwest Philadelphia

Tony Dphax King, Democrat

Tony Dphax King is a self-employed West Philadelphian and former youth detention counselor who appeared on the 80s, Philadelphia-based daytime dance show Dancin’ on Air and has locally protested Israel’s war on Palestine.

Tony Dphax King’s Twitter / X

Rick Krajewski, Democrat, incumbent

Rick Krajewski has served in the State House since 2021 upon defeating 35-year incumbent Jim Roebuck.  The Bronx native came to Philly via Penn, stayed to work as a software engineer, then became a full-time community organizer, including at Reclaim Philadelphia. Since joining the House, Krajewski, a self-described progressive, sponsored and cosponsored legislation to increase housing access, strengthen tenants’ rights, and protect vulnerable populations such as children of incarcerated parents, insured dependents and children with parents in custody battles. Krajewski’s platform includes expanding affordable housing, reforming criminal justice, and improving educational equity and access.

Select endorsements: Philadelphia AFL-CIO, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Teamsters 3012, 215 People’s Alliance, SEIU State Council, PA SNAP

Rick Krajewski’s campaign website


190th District

Parts of West Philadelphia, including Belmont Mansion and Malcolm X Park

James Love Jackson, Democrat

James Jackson ran unsuccessfully as an Independent against Roni Green in 2022.

No campaign website

Roni Green, Democrat, incumbent

Gwendolyn Veronica “Roni” Green has represented her part of Philly in the House since 2020. The Dobbins grad has worked with SEIU Local 668 as a business agent and field organizer. Legislation she’s sponsored and cosponsored include enacting a $15 minimum wage, establishing free broadband for residents of low-income housing, and offering loan forgiveness to PA nurses.

Roni Green’s campaign website

Select endorsements: PA Working Families Party, SEIU Local 668, Laborers’ District Council, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Philly NOW, Sen. Sharif Street, Sen. Vincent Hughes, Rep. Joanna McClinton

BALLOT MEASURE

The Philadelphia election’s sole ballot measure reads: 

Proposing an amendment to The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to provide for indemnification and defense by the City in connection with claims made against any registered community organization arising directly out of the lawful participation by such an organization in zoning matters and related land-use process; and providing for the submission of the amendment to the electors of Philadelphia.

This measure would change Philadelphia’s constitution to include legal protections for registered community organizations — RCOs — against developers who might sue them. RCOs, typically formed by unpaid residents, represent the voice of the neighborhood to companies interested in developing a residential or commercial project in their neighborhood. Crucially, the City requires a neighborhood’s RCO to participate in the zoning variance process.

At times, an RCO’s concerns can delay, change or prevent a development from progressing. Currently, a developer who wants to proceed without RCO approval (or retaliate against an RCO) can sue individual RCO members as a means to object to the RCO’s … objections. As most RCOs lack the deep pockets of developers, such a suit could stymie a neighborhood’s voice.

This amendment would indemnify RCOs from developers’ legal action and use city funds to provide defense on an RCO’s behalf, if necessary.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the Building Industry Association supports this ballot measure. 

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