The Philadelphia mayor’s race just got a little less crowded: Maria Quiñones Sánchez is dropping out.
“I am sorry to be suspending my campaign. I ran for mayor because I’ve lived every challenge this city faces, and with my policy and legislative experience, I felt I could tackle our city’s challenges head-on,” Quiñones Sánchez said in a Sunday morning statement.
She called on the remaining candidates — there are now 10 contenders vying for the Democratic nomination — to address the city’s growing Latino population.
“Over the last few months, I’ve been disappointed that the other candidates have made no mention of how they would help Latino Philadelphians,” Quiñones Sánchez said.
The reason for her withdrawal was fundraising issues, per The Inquirer, which first reported the news. “The obnoxious, obscene amount of money that is shaping the race just got away from us,” she told the paper.
Over $22 million has already been spent on the mayoral contest, per the most recent filings. The race to be Philly’s top executive is typically pretty expensive, but that’s still a lot — especially considering there’s still five weeks to go and some candidates are just now getting on TV.
How does it compare? Here’s the approximate total spending of the past few contested mayoral primaries:
A former City Council member who was elected to represent Kensington’s District 7 four times without Democratic party backing, Quiñones Sánchez had a hard path to victory in a race filled with qualified candidates.
She presented herself as the no-nonsense candidate. “I’m running to be your Accountability Mayor and get sh*t done,” Quiñones Sánchez’s campaign materials said.
But she once again didn’t have a lot of establishment backing (most of that has gone to Cherelle Parker), or the support of as many unions and coalitions as Helen Gym or Rebecca Rhynhart, or the deep pockets of Allan Domb or Jeff Brown.
Domb early on triggered the “millionaire’s amendment” by donating at least $250k to his own campaign, raising the campaign contribution limits to $6,200 for individuals and $25,200 for committees or partnerships.
Quiñones Sánchez raised about $800k total, according to The Inquirer. Domb has already spent over $7 million, and Brown has benefitted from millions in spending from so-called super PACs, groups outside the campaign that aren’t subject to limits.
Quiñones Sánchez, 53, came to Philadelphia from Puerto Rico as a baby. She grew up in North Philly and became an education advocate, and then got into politics working for former Councilmembers Marian Tasco and Angel Ortiz. She first ran for office in 1999, and won a seat in 2007. She was a self-described “pragmatic progressive” who helped create the Philadelphia Land Bank. She resigned her Council seat last fall to run for mayor.
Per her campaign suspension statement, Quiñones Sánchez “intends to remain in public life and have community impact,” though she did not specify in what way.
She outlined a proposed “Agenda Latina” with suggested solutions to issues facing Philly’s Latino community (PDF here or see below).
After she dropped out, other candidates in the race began praising Quiñones Sánchez on social media, subtly jockeying for her endorsement.