Sidewalk chalk sign with colorful message declaring VOTE HERE.
A sign pointing voters in Bella Vista to their polling place. (Danya Henninger/Billy Penn)

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Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.

This is a pivotal moment for Philadelphia, and you have a say in how it turns out.

The May 16 primary will heavily shape the November election, which will usher in one of the widest Philly leadership shifts of the modern era. A new mayor. Mostly new City Council members, one of whom will become the new Council president. Someone new in the Controller’s Office. 

Alongside the relatively new school superintendent and Board of Education president, and under the relatively new leadership in Harrisburg, they’ll have to navigate Philadelphia out of pandemic upheaval and cleave a path forward.  

The good news: A lot of qualified people are vying for a chance to do this. The hard part: Among all the choices, how do you decide?

Billy Penn’s Procrastinator’s Guide is here to help. 

Below you’ll find a brief intro to every candidate on the Philly ballot, in order, including the highly contested top spot, the huge field of hopeful city lawmakers, the several row offices facing challenges, and the many judgeships — positions of power that often go without scrutiny.

Skim through this article now to get a lay of the land, then bookmark it for reference as you fill out your mail ballot or head to the polls on May 16.

Have questions that aren’t answered here? Let us know at

Important note: Pennsylvania holds closed primaries, which means you can only cast votes for candidates in your registered party. Everyone gets a say on the charter change questions, though, including unaffiliated voters. Candidates are listed here in the order they appear on the ballot.

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Your polling place

Are you registered? You can find your status with the state lookup tool here.

Where do you vote? Find that by entering your address here in the city’s Atlas tool or here in the state database. Each also provides info about what ward and division you’re in.

For those voting in person, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. — at that point, if you’re in line, stay in line: As long as you’re queued up by 8 o’clock you’ll be able to cast a ballot.

You only need to show identification if you’re voting at a specific polling location for the first time.

Mail ballots

You don’t need a reason or excuse to vote by mail in the commonwealth. If you already have your mail ballot, you can drop it off at one of several secure ballot drop boxes around Philly, or bring it to the City Commissioners’ office in Room 104 of City Hall. 

Want to apply for one? Do that here before May 9. Applied but never received your ballot? To start, check the status with the Department of State’s online tracker. If the status is “Canceled,” that means the U.S Postal Service ran into issues and canceled your delivery, so you’ll want to request a replacement. 

The fastest way to secure a replacement is to request one in person at the Board of Elections office in City Hall, Room 140, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Afterward, you have the option of completing and submitting your ballot right then and there. You can also request a replacement mail ballot by filling out a form on the City Commissioner’s website or calling 215-686-3469.

Never got your replacement and it’s Election Day? Head to your polling place to ask for a provisional ballot, which will get counted after local election officials verify you didn’t vote by mail.

All mail ballots must be delivered to a drop box or received by election officials by the time the polls close: 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 16.

Have a mail ballot but want to switch to in person? You can bring it to the polls — envelopes and all — and surrender it to election workers, then head into the booth and cast your vote.

Ballot questions


The race to succeed Jim Kenney and become Philly’s 100th leader is crowded, full of candidates with solid experience, varied backgrounds, and a diverse array of ideas. Just 27% of registered voters cast a ballot last time there was a competitive mayoral primary. If that happens, the winner could be decided by as few as 2,000 votes — less than 1% of the city’s 1.6 million residents. Your vote counts.

Cherelle Parker
Mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker at the Restoring Safety Forum hosted by Billy Penn, WHYY, and CeaseFirePA, in March 2023. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Cherelle Parker hails from Northwest Philadelphia, where her political career was kicked off under the tutelage of District 9 leaders like Marian Tasco — who brought Parker on as an intern after she won a high school speaking contest. 

Parker served as a state rep in Harrisburg for a decade between 2005-2015, and then was elected to Council, serving for seven years. Her experience is reflected in her endorsements; she’s backed by much of Philly’s delegation to Harrisburg and multiple members of City Council, plus perennial political players like the city’s Building Trades Coalition. 

Parker’s policy orientation has been towards building and sustaining “middle neighborhoods,” hence the importance she grants to providing assistance for homeowners, commercial corridor beautification, and a cautious approach to development. In this race, she’s taken a pro-policing stance, calling for 300 officers to consistently walk a beat and for the renewed use of Terry stops, which she also calls “constitutional stop and frisk.”

Three priorities:

  1. Implementing her safety plan, involving more police presence and surveillance cameras, consistent city services, and more. 
  2. Starting up robust year-round schooling in the public education system. 
  3. Reducing wage and business taxes.

Campaign website

James M “Jimmy” DeLeon
Mayoral candidate Jimmy DeLeon participates in the Restoring Safety Forum at WHYY> (Emma Lee/WHYY)

James “Jimmy” DeLeon is a West Philly-raised retired judge who served on Philly’s Municipal Court for 34 years, and then chaired the legal committee for the Democratic City Committee. DeLeon ran into disciplinary issues on two occasions — and was handed a three-month suspension in one case — during his time as a public official, and ran unsuccessfully for Pa. Supreme Court and Pa. Superior court. 

The core policy of DeLeon’s campaign has been what he calls the Local Incident Management System (LIMS), which would essentially coordinate the anti-violence efforts of law enforcement agencies, the mayor, and Council. 

Three priorities:

  1. Setting up the LIMS system, based on the National Incident Management System.
  2. Hiring 1,500 new PPD officers. 
  3. Citywide rent control

Campaign website

Rebecca Rhynhart
Former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart announcing her run for Philadelphia mayor in October 2022. (Emma Lee/WHYY) Credit: Emma Lee / WHYY

Rhynhart, who grew up in Abington, moved to Philadelphia in 2008 and got her start in government as city treasurer under Mayor Michael Nutter after leaving a job on Wall Street. She later served as city budget director and chief administrative officer. Rhynhart ran for City Controller in 2017, besting a party-supported incumbent in the Democratic primary. As controller — the first woman to serve in the role — she started using the office to publish public-facing policy analysis on citywide issues, took the city to task on its confusing accounting methods, and found big disparities in 911 response times by neighborhood in an audit of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Three former mayors — Nutter, John Street, and Ed Rendell — have endorsed Rhynhart, and so has The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Three of her priorities:

  • Reducing violent crime
  • Providing a “quality education” using a “child-centered approach”
  • Increasing economic opportunity and making prosperity “shared and sustainable”

Campaign website

Delscia Gray

Born in Philadelphia, Gray is a graduate of Bok High School and ITT Tech, where she earned an associate degree in cybersecurity. A former medical secretary, public health research assistant, and security officer, she currently serves as protective services officer with Jefferson Health in East Norriton.

Gray has stated she would like to see intensive foot patrols and mobile police units deployed within areas of the city with the highest crime rates. She has also acknowledged a need for greater transparency between the city and its residents but stopped short of providing any further information.

Beyond that, few details exist on Gray’s candidacy. A Twitter account exists under her name; the most recent tweet, from 2017, inquiring how to pay a red-light ticket online when the city’s website is down. There are only 7 other tweets on the account, all from 2016, in which she seems to be angling for a position as Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, claiming “I have the experience.” 

Three priorities:

  1. Public safety
  2. Public health
  3. Protective services

→ No campaign site

Amen Brown
State Rep. Amen Brown in September 2022 at a hearing on the effort to impeach Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Amen Brown is a West Philly native, and at 35, the youngest mayoral candidate. Brown has touted the fact that he’s experienced struggles similar to his constituents — including being shot as a minor, dealing with an arrest and pretrial detention, and navigating poverty. He won a seat in the state House in 2020 and was reelected in 2022.

Prior to public office, Brown ran nonprofits and dabbled in real estate, endeavors that accrued unpaid debts (including taxes to the city) and accusations that he bilked business partners. He’s also improperly filed candidate financial statements multiple times, including in this race. In office Brown has been known to break from fellow Democrats on issues of criminal justice, like when he pushed for new mandatory minimum sentences for gun-related crimes. 

Three priorities:

  1. A 3-year Business Income & Receipts Tax abatement for Philly small businesses.
  2. Banning ski masks and starting a Social Media Task Force to “aggressively monitor gang activity.”
  3. Crafting a new blight removal plan

Campaign website

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown at a mayoral candidates forum in January 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

The only declared candidate who has never worked in government or run for office, the grocery store magnate was initially known for opening stores in predominantly Black and brown neighborhoods that were food deserts — and winning the Obamas’ praise for that work – as well as for hiring formerly incarcerated people. He entered the political scene as a vocal critic of Mayor Jim Kenney’s sweetened beverage tax. 

A dark-money super PAC spent heavily on TV commercials supporting Brown, boosting his prominence early in the race. He vowed to improve basic services like trash pickup, attacked rivals as career politicians who had accomplished little in elected office, and was endorsed by the FOP, the transit workers union and the largest municipal workers union. But he was criticized for ads that incorrectly implied Michelle Obama had endorsed him and others that seemed racially insensitive, and took heat for dismissing environmental justice concerns in Chester, where much of Philly’s trash is burned.

In April the city’s Board of Ethics sued the super PAC, alleging it had flagrantly violated campaign finance laws last year by illegally coordinating fundraising with Brown. He admitted soliciting donations for the PAC but attacked the charges as a “political hit job.”

Three priorities:

  1. Fight poverty by encouraging minority entrepreneurs
  2. Hire more police officers
  3. Provide opportunities to returning citizens

Campaign website

Warren Bloom
Candidate for Philadelphia mayor Warren Bloom Credit: Facebook / Warren Bloom

Bloom is a lifelong Philadelphian and perennial candidate who’s run for other positions at least six times. According to his campaign website, he’s worked as a minister, music and media professional, and public claims adjuster, as well as spending time as a community organizer, block captain, and volunteer. News outlets vetting Bloom’s candidacy for traffic court a decade ago found he’d pled no contest to charges of simple assault, indecent assault, and corrupting a minor in 1992. Bloom told journalists he didn’t personally think he was guilty, but he didn’t know what the term meant and had wanted to spare the teenager “any more emotional stress.”

Three of his priorities:

  • Strengthening public schools and ensuring “excellence for teaching and learning”
  • Children, families, and “a safer city”
  • Pushing for “fair and competitive” wages

Campaign website

Allan Domb
Allan Domb in March 2023 at the Restoring Safety Forum hosted by Billy Penn, WHYY, and CeaseFirePA. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A self-made businessman known as Philadelphia’s “Condo King,” Domb served two terms as councilmember, resigning last August before announcing his mayoral campaign. The real estate magnate – his current properties are worth upwards of $400M – has often focused on fiscal solutions and job creation. As councilmember, Domb donated his salary to Philadelphia public schools, advocated for a wage tax refund for low-income families, and chaired the Fiscal Stability and Intergovernmental Cooperation committee.

Despite being the biggest spender in the race by a wide margin, Domb has earned fewer high-profile endorsements than some competitors, but did win the backing of former Mayor Bill Green.  

Three priorities:

  1. Bringing “the violence under control,” with a 10-point action plan for his first 100 days in office
  2. Providing affordable housing.
  3. Improving education standards, with a focus on teaching “financial literacy and entrepreneurship to the kids in all of our schools, from K-12.”

Campaign website

Helen Gym
Helen Gym in March 2023 at the Restoring Safety Forum hosted by Billy Penn, WHYY, and CeaseFirePA (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Gym, a Penn grad who’s spent around three decades in Philly, served two terms on City Council — from 2016 to 2022 — until her resignation. Before, she was known for her local education activism and leadership of the group Parents United for Public Education. As a councilmember, Gym focused her efforts on education, labor, and housing, spearheading fair workweek legislation and an eviction diversion program that’s been nationally recognized

Gym has garnered a lot of progressive support both inside and outside Philadelphia. She’s been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, as well as Working Families Party, Reclaim Philadelphia, and state Sen. Nikil Saval. She has some union support too, including from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, UNITE HERE Philadelphia, and AFSCME District Council 47.

Three priorities:

  • Employing a “comprehensive, unified approach to public safety”
  • Ensuring access to safe and fully-funded public schools
  • Growing a “fair, inclusive, innovative, and vibrant” economy

Campaign website

David Oh
David Oh with 16th District Police Captain Chanta Herder at an August 2022 event discussing relationships between first responders and communities

The sole Republican mayoral candidate is an attorney in private practice and former assistant DA who was the city’s first Asian-American office-holder, serving nearly three terms on City Council until he resigned earlier this year. He’s known for bucking the local GOP and repeatedly winning reelection without party endorsement, although it is now supporting his mayoral run. 

Oh’s legislative work included unsuccessful efforts to shut down the Republican-dominated Philadelphia Parking Authority and to commission an audit of the agency. He also tried to repeal the city’s soda tax, joined Asian-American business owners in fighting a bill targeting stop-and-go liquor stores, and authored legislation to make it harder for illegal squatters to take over homes. He’s also been criticized for being arrested for firing a gun in the air to scare off people near his home, for misleadingly claiming he was a Green Beret, and for accepting an illegal campaign contribution. DHS briefly investigated after Oh’s son was injured while they practiced judo together, and Oh then investigated DHS guidelines for reporting child abuse.

Three priorities:

  • 1. Tougher criminal prosecution
  • 2. Direct election of five school board members
  • 3. Reduce business regulations and taxes

Campaign website

City Council at large

City Council members serve 4-year terms with no limit on how many times they can be re-elected. Seven of the 17 members serve at-large, representing the whole city. Of these, two are reserved for a non-majority party. You can select up to 5 people on the May ballot.

Derwood Selby
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Selby, of Strawberry Mansion, grew up in Philadelphia, lived abroad, and moved back 10 years ago. He’s been a chef and hosted television and radio food shows on the cable access network PhillyCAM, where he is a board member. He also worked for a marketing firm that developed Philly 4 Life, a school violence-prevention project.

His platform focuses on promoting public safety, education, entrepreneurship, home ownership and health care, and “working strategically for an equitable, all-inclusive future.”

→ Campaign site is here

Sherrie Cohen
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Cohen is a tenants rights lawyer who has previously run for Council three times, trying to follow in the footsteps of her father, a longtime Council member. She worked on a lawsuit against tobacco companies and a suit to block the closure of city libraries, among others, and has co-chaired the Civil Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Liberty City LGBTQ Democratic Club.

Her priorities include building community-led public safety programs to end gun violence, keeping libraries and rec centers open every day, and creating a Green New Deal for Philadelphia that will generate union jobs.

→ Facebook page is here

Qiana Shedrick

Shedrick is president of operations at Upper North Neighbors Association, a community group and RCO (registered community organization). She’s also worked for Jumpstart Tioga, a redevelopment and development training organization. Billy Penn could not locate a campaign website.

Jalon Alexander
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Alexander is an attorney who grew up in Strawberry Mansion. He is a business development manager for Makpar, an IT contractor for the federal government. He previously served as president of the Penn State Council of Commonwealth Student Governments, was a board member at WESA in Pittsburgh, and had an internship in the City Controller’s Office.

He has proposed a fleet of drones to help with law enforcement, and his priorities include public access to community surveillance cameras, providing STEM training, promoting education around LGBTQ discrimination laws, and higher teacher pay.

→ Campaign site is here

Luz Colon
Luz Colon (Colon campaign)

Luz Colon is executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission on Latino Affairs and previously worked in the offices of City Council members Angel Ortiz, Blondell Reynolds Brown and Bill Greenlee. She’s a 20th Ward committee person and was a board member at Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) and Philadelphia Fight, an HIV/AIDS medical care organization.

Her campaign priorities include improving public safety, promoting economic opportunity, and investing in quality public education. 

→ Campaign site is here

Wayne E. Dorsey
Wayne Dorsey (Dorsey campaign)

Dorsey is a West Philadelphia resident who works as a driver, per his candidate filing with the city. He previously ran for an at-large seat in 2019. His priorities include mental health, education, neighborhood cleanups, food distribution, housing, and rebuilding and expanding city resources, according to his Facebook page.

→ Facebook page is here

Deshawnda Williams
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Williams is a clinical social worker who runs a mental health and life coaching consultancy, and serves as a pastor at New Inspirational Baptist Church in Nicetown. She has been board president at the former Bluford Charter School in West Philadelphia, which is slated to return to district control this fall. 

Her goals include “education awareness,” making “environmental changes through economic development,” and increasing mental health access, according to her Facebook page.

→ Facebook page is here

Melissa Robbins
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Robbins is a Maryland native and former Army combat medic who moved to Philly in 1995, per a Tribune profile. She has been a radio host at WURD and political strategist, working on campaigns for Gov. Tom Wolf, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, and other City Council candidates. 

Her platform calls for Comcast and other corporations to pay more taxes, and for PILOTs from nonprofits and universities. She’s also calling for public financing of political campaigns, and has previously focused on eliminating poverty by investing in schools. 

→ Facebook page is here

Amanda McIllmurray
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Raised in Northeast Philly and now a South Philly resident, McIllmurray is best known for her work as political director for Reclaim Philadelphia, a progressive group she co-founded in 2016. She’s also worked on other campaigns, per her LinkedIn page. Before politics, she was a legal assistant and held jobs in food service and retail.

McIllmurray has said she wants to “build a coalition between labor, progressives, and working-class people across the city” by pursuing priorities like rent controls, workers’ rights issues, and tax changes.” She’s been endorsed by the Working Families Party.

→ Campaign site is here

Abu V. Edwards
Abu Edwards (Edwards campaign)

Edwards is a community organizer and political consultant who lives in Mt. Airy. He was a 2018 candidate for a North Philly Pa. House seat. He has worked for the Committee of Seventy, the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, and the Biden and Obama presidential campaigns. He’s currently the political action chair of the NAACP Philadelphia branch, and a city committeeperson.

His priorities include improving 911 response times in communities of color, addressing illegal dumping, funding the Board of Ethics, and lowering business taxes.

→ Campaign site is here

Rue Landau
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Landau, a Bella Vista resident, previously directed the city’s Commission on Human Relations and Fair Housing Commission and has served as the director of law and policy for the Philadelphia Bar Association. Before that, she was a lawyer for Community Legal Services and a housing activist. If elected, she’d be the first openly LGBTQ city councilmember. Landau is the only non-incumbent Council candidate to be endorsed by the full Democratic City Committee, and she’s also been endorsed by the Working Families Party.

Landau bills herself as a longtime “fighter for Philly.” She says she’ll work to make sure “every person in our city” can have “the best we have to offer,” like an end to gun violence and access to safe and affordable housing.

→ Campaign site is here

Ogbonna Paul Hagins
Ogbonna Hagins (Hagins campaign)

Hagins, who describes himself as the “Philly Green Man,” is an activist and retired educator, according to his website. After years of what he says is “working hard to clean up the street from trash,” Hagins “now wants to clean up Philadelphia City Council.” He previously ran for an at-large seat in the 2019 primary.

Hagins’ priorities include education reform, better waste management, and creating Green New Deal-like policies at the local level.

→ Campaign site is here

Erika Almirón
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Almirón is a social justice activist who was formerly executive director of Juntos, a Philadelphia immigrant rights nonprofit. The daughter of immigrants from Paraguay, she previously ran for an at-large seat in 2019. She has worked at the Philadelphia Student Union, the American Friends Service Committee U.S. Border Program, and Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Stated priorities include affordable housing, protection for renters, and property tax relief. She also backs environmental policies such as retrofitting city buildings to use solar energy and green job training in disinvested communities. Almirón has been endorsed by the Working Families Party.

→ Campaign site is here

Nina Ahmad
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Ahmad is an executive, activist, scientist, and former bureaucrat from Mt. Airy who’s previously run for two state-level offices: lieutenant governor and auditor general. She served as deputy mayor for public engagement in Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration, and now leads the Pa. chapter of the National Organization for Women. Ahmad, who was born in Bangladesh, served on the National Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under Obama.

Ahmad has said she wants to look at the city’s myriad issues through a “public health lens,” centering wellness in her approach to issues like gun violence, the environment, education, and housing.

→ Campaign site is here

Charles Reyes
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Reyes was until recently a community school coordinator at Murrell Dobbins CTE High School in North Philadelphia, and before that worked as a crisis manager in a youth behavioral program. In 2019, Good Morning America honored him for his education work. 

→ Facebook page is here

Donavan West
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

West was until recently president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. He runs his own firm, Black Business Accelerator and Culturally Congruent Solutions, and was previously an executive at People For People, a North Philly nonprofit focused on education and family development. He grew up in North Philadelphia, lives in Fishtown, and is building a home in Fairmount.

His platform focuses on crime, affordable housing, education, health care, poverty, and business, according to his website.

→ Campaign site is here

Naderah Griffin
YouTube video

Griffin is a math and reading teacher who has taught in city schools, served as a project manager and instructor for the district’s Bright Solar Futures youth training program, and been a board member at Serenity Soular, according to an online profile. Billy Penn could not locate a campaign site.

Jim Harrity (incumbent)
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Harrity, who lives in Kensington, joined Council in November after winning a special election to replace Allan Domb. He has been political director of the state and city Democratic parties and was state Sen. Sharif Street’s executive director. He previously worked in union construction, was an auditor in the City Controller’s office, and serves on the board of addiction nonprofit One Day at a Time.

When he took office, Harrity said his first priority was adding more surveillance cameras in high-crime areas to help police arrest violent offenders. Other stated priorities include increasing resources for education and job training to improve social mobility. He is endorsed by the Democratic City Committee.

→ Facebook page is here

Eryn Santamoor
Eryn Santamoor (Santamoor campaign)

Santamoor, a Chestnut Hill resident, was chief of staff to former Councilmember Allan Domb and has held other government roles, including deputy managing director during the Nutter administration. She sits on the board of Uplift Center for Grieving Children, an East Falls-based nonprofit that supports children who’ve lost a loved one. This is Santamoor’s second time running for council — she also pursued an at-large seat in 2019.

As councilmember, Santamoor says she would prioritize public safety, substance use treatment, and “quality services for every neighborhood.”

→ Campaign site is here

George Stevenson
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Stevenson, of Nicetown, is a former constituent services representative for Councilmember Cindy Bass, and he runs the mentorship nonprofit Real Men Speak. He is also a Boy Scout leader, per his campaign paperwork.

In a Facebook video, Stevenson said a priority for him on City Council would be streamlining and speeding up city services.

→ Facebook page is here

John B. Kelly
John B. Kelly (Kelly campaign)

Kelly is a consultant on alternative energy projects and CFO of a biomedical firm and an athletic apparel company. He previously worked in municipal finance for PNC. He’s a son of former Councilmember John B. Kelly and nephew of late Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly. He is president of the environmental group Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, a board member at the Fairmount Park Conservancy, and treasurer of the Philadelphia Police Foundation.

Campaign priorities include dismantling the “economic apartheid” in Philadelphia and tackling Black Americans’ barriers to financial and social capital rooted in slavery and institutionalized racism.

→ Campaign site is here

Curtis Segers III
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Segers, an Olney resident, is assistant principal of school culture at Mann Elementary Mastery Charter School in Wynnefield and was previously a special education teacher. He runs the Segers Foundation, a youth services organization.

Segers says his priorities are providing educational resources for all students, working with the community to come up with solutions to stop gun violence, and creating career pathways for youth that will lead to wealth.

→ Campaign site is here

Katherine Gilmore Richardson (incumbent)
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

When Richardson won the 2019 election, she was the youngest woman ever elected to citywide office and the youngest Black woman ever elected to Council. She previously served as chief of staff for former Councilmember Blondell Reynolds Brown and as vice president of the Young Philly Democrats. She serves on the U.S. EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee.

Among her achievements she counts bills requiring public hearings on police labor contracts, cracking down on nuisance businesses, and integrating climate risk disclosure into city operations. She created a guidebook on apprenticeship programs and worked to have the School District provide conflict resolution services. Richardson has been endorsed by the Democratic City Committee.

→ Campaign site is here

Michelle Prettyman
Michelle Prettyman (Prettyman campaign)

Prettyman is an educator and a small business owner who runs an event planning company called Impressed by M. Conquest, according to her website. She says she has seen the “social, emotional, and economic toll robbing Philadelphians from the quality of life they deserve” through her students.

Prettyman wants to run for office to be an “advocate for the needs of children and families.” On her website, she lists crime reduction, educational reform, and supporting small businesses as issues that need to be tackled. 

→ Campaign site is here

Job Itzkowitz
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Itzkowitz has since 2014 been executive director of the Old City District, which oversees cleaning and economic development initiatives in the neighborhood. A resident of Point Breeze, he was previously deputy chief of staff and director of legislation for City Council, and before that was an attorney at Ballard Spahr. He co-founded Young Involved Philadelphia, and helped found Friends of Love Park.

Itzkowitz says he is focusing on creating a city with clean streets, safe neighborhoods, comfortable use of public transit at all hours, well-resourced public schools, and unique and vibrant local businesses.

→ Campaign site is here

Christopher Gladstone Booth
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Booth is a math teacher in city schools who was previously an IT manager for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also worked for the Department of Defense, according to his campaign bio, and has coached tennis at Haverford College and several clubs. He is an East Mount Airy Neighbors board member.

His stated priorities include increasing the number of Black male teachers and generally improving Philly schools, preventing crime, enhancing the city’s status as a historical and cultural destination, reducing its carbon footprint by promoting renewable energy, and creating a public bank.

→ Campaign site is here

Isaiah Thomas (incumbent)
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Thomas won his seat in 2019, his third try. He was previously director of community affairs in the City Controller’s office, served as associate dean and athletic director at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School, and worked at nonprofit organizations. He co-founded a charitable foundation that puts on free summer youth programs and served on the Mayor’s Commission for African-American Men.

On Council he chairs the Streets Committee and is vice chair of the Children and Youth Committee. He hosts an annual Black-Owned Business Crawl, sponsored a Driving Equality bill that banned traffic stops for minor offenses, and introduced legislation to reward residents for reporting illegal dumping. He is endorsed by the Democratic City Committee and the Working Families Party.

→ Campaign site is here

Frank Cristinzio

Cristinzio, of Harrowgate, is a recently retired PPA maintenance worker who has worked in manufacturing since the 1970s, per his Philly GOP bio. He’s also a longtime Republican committeeperson.

He supports fully funding and staffing the police department, increased monitoring of city-funded drug recovery facilities, and school choice. He has been endorsed by the Republican City Committee. Billy Penn could not locate a campaign site.

Gary Grisafi

Grisafi is a musician and guitar teacher from Northeast Philly who runs a business called the Grisafi Music Institute and is a Ward 53 committee leader. He previously worked in constituent services for former Councilmember Al Taubenberger and served as a RNC delegate in 2020. per the Philly GOP. Over a decade ago he ran unsuccessfully for the District 7 Council seat and for the Pa. House. 

Stated priorities include combating crime by funding the police and stiffening gun laws, improving education, and lowering real estate taxes, the wage tax, and sales taxes. He has been endorsed by the Republican City Committee. Billy Penn could not locate a campaign site.

Drew Murray
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

A Logan Square resident, Murray is a regional sales manager at O’Brien Systems, a storage manufacturer based in Montgomery County. In addition to being a ward leader, he serves on the boards of his neighborhood association and the Center City District. Murray was on the ballot in last November’s special election for Council at-large. He also ran for Council in 2019 and for a Pa. House seat in 2020.

Murray’s platform includes returning “law and order” to the city, getting rid of the soda tax in favor of alternative funding, and lowering the wage tax. He has been endorsed by the Republican City Committee.

→ Campaign site is here

Jim Hasher
Jim Hasher (Hasher campaign)

Hasher, a Torresdale resident, is a longtime realtor, the owner of a Northeast Philly sports pub, and a youth sports volunteer and leader. His past political involvement includes serving as a ward leader, running for Congress in the 1990s, and managing a successful Council campaign. He was on the ballot in November in one of the at-large Council special elections. 

Hasher, a self-described moderate, lists public safety, supporting small businesses, and addressing the opioid epidemic as his campaign priorities. He has been endorsed by the Republican City Committee.

→ Campaign site is here

Mary Jane Kelly

A Torresdale resident, Kelly is a retired clerk who worked in the Philadelphia court system for 26 years, per the Philly GOP, and has worked for a decade and a half as a “premium service hostess” for the Phillies.

Kelly has been endorsed by the Republican City Committed. Billy Penn could not locate a campaign site.

Sam Oropeza
Sam Oropeza (Oropeza campaign)

Former boxer and mixed martial arts fighter Oropeza is a real estate agent and the leader of River Wards group Rescuing Streets through Clean-Ups. A resident of Bridesburg, he has appeared on the ballot once before, when he ran in a May 2022 special election for a Northeast Philly state Senate seat. 

Oropeza says he’s running to “actively strive for a safer community” by holding people like “violent repeat offenders, an absent city hall, and a rogue district attorney” accountable.

→ Campaign site is here

City Council district seats

Several of City Council’s 10 district-level seats are also being contested. Because of Philly’s tradition of councilmanic prerogative, which says district lawmakers have final say over most of what goes on in their districts, these positions are often considered more powerful than at-large seats. You’ll only see the representative for your area on your ballot.

City Council District 1 (Democrat)
Mark Squilla (incumbent)
City Councilman Mark Squilla in 2017 (City Council Flickr)

Squilla took office in 2012 and is serving his third term on Council. A South Philadelphia native, he previously worked as a systems analyst for the Pa. Auditor General’s Office.

In recent years he has sponsored bills creating a new “road diet” layout for part of Washington Avenue, banning single-use plastic bags, and tightening oversight of Airbnb rentals, and he co-sponsored renewal of the LOOP tax relief bill for longtime homeowners. He’s proposed mandating sprinkler systems in all tall buildings to put out fires, and has voiced support for the Sixers’ proposal to build a new arena on Market Street. He also plays Santa Claus in Franklin Square’s holiday celebration. 

→ Facebook page is here

City Council District 2 (Democrat)
Kenyatta Johnson (incumbent)
Kenyatta Johnson in 2018 (Johnson campaign) Credit: Instagram / @councilmankj

First elected in 2011, Johnson is running for his fourth term representing his native Point Breeze and surrounding area. He came to public service after founding anti-violence org Peace Not Guns, and served as state rep from 2009 to 2012.

Johnson chairs Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention, and has made job training a priority while in office. He was recently acquitted on federal bribery charges related to an alleged consulting deal given to his wife in exchange for favorable zoning legislation — but constituents said they’d reelect him anyway.

→ Campaign site is here

City Council District 3 (Democrat)
Jamie Gauthier (incumbent)
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Gauthier is an urban planner who grew up in West Philly. She worked at the community development nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and served as executive director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and Fairmount Park Conservancy. 

Gauthier in 2019 surprised the political establishment by unseating longtime Councilmember Jannie Blackwell. Since then, she has become one of the city’s more activist lawmakers, and has proposed legislation to slow development. She is chair of the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development, and the Homeless.

→ Campaign site is here

City Council District 4 (Democrat)
Curtis Jones, Jr. (incumbent)
Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr. (City Council Flickr)

First elected in 2007, Jones is seeking a fifth term representing Northwest Philadelphia. He currently serves as Council majority leader, a position he previously held from 2012-2016. A graduate of Overbrook HIgh School and Penn’s Fels School of Government, he has been appointed to several statewide boards, including the Pa. Human Relations Commission. 

While in office, he has introduced bills on criminal justice reform measures and community-driven economic development. 

→ Campaign site is here

City Council District 5 (Democrat)
Jeffery Young
Jeffery Young (Young campaign)

Young is an attorney who specializes in real estate, government affairs, and business law. He previously worked as retiring Council President Darrell Clarke’s legislative counsel, and is a partner at Legis Group LLC. Young is a committeeperson in the Ward 32 and has previously served on the board of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation.

→ Campaign site is here

City Council District 6 (Democrat)
Mike Driscoll (incumbent)
Councilmember Mike Driscoll (City Council Flickr)

Driscoll, of Torresdale, is a former state representative who won a special election last year to replace former Councilmember Bobby Henon, who quit after he was convicted of corruption charges. Driscoll previously worked for Gov. Bob Casey Sr. and the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union.

His priorities include making more funding available for early education, creating jobs, developing the waterfront and attracting manufacturers to his district. He’s also focused on putting more cops in neighborhoods, cleaning streets, removing blighted properties and repairing streets and sidewalks. He opposes safe injection sites in Northeast Philadelphia.

→ Campaign site is here

City Council District 7 (Democrat)
Quetcy Lozada (incumbent)
Quetcy Lozada is the Democratic nominee for Philadelphia's 7th councilmanic district. She'll be on the ballot Nov. 8.
Quetcy Lozada in 2022 (Emma Lee/WHYY) Credit: Emma Lee / WHYY

Lozada, who grew up in Hunting Park and lives in Northwood, won a special election in November to succeed Maria Quiñones Sánchez, whose chief of staff she was for a decade. Lozada worked as director of community engagement for DA Larry Krasner and as vice president of community organizing and engagement at the social services provider Esperanza.

When elected, Lozada said she wanted to work on quality of life improvements and end the open public opioid use that plagues the district.

→ Facebook page is here

Andrés Celin
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Celin is an educator, social worker and community organizer. He works as a trauma trainer at Lakeside Global Institute, previously served as Councilmember Helen Gym’s outreach director, and has worked for Youth United for Change and Congreso de Latinos Unidos. He volunteers with the Norris Square Neighborhood Project and LULAC Philadelphia, which provides scholarships to high school graduates.

Celin says he wants to boost low voter turnout in the district by engaging underserved residents. He called for “safe communities, affordable housing, and opportunities for our young people to learn and grow.”

→ Facebook page is here

City Council District 8 (Democrat)
Seth Anderson-Oberman
Seth Anderson-Oberman (Anderson-Oberman campaign)

Anderson-Oberman, an organizer at SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, previously worked for the AFL-CIO and was political director at the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey. Raised in Germantown, he has been a board member at the Philadelphia Student Union and recently cofounded the Philadelphia Labor for Black Lives Coalition. 

He wants the city to fund crisis responders, provide legal aid for people facing eviction, rent and mortgage relief, reform the Land Bank, and launch a Public Bank.

→ Campaign website is here

Cindy Bass (incumbent)
Councilmember Cindy Bass (City Council)

Bass was first elected to represent Northwest Philly in 2012 and is running for a fourth term. She serves as Council’s deputy majority whip and is chair of two committees: Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and Public Health and Human Services. She was a policy advisor to former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and an assistant to state Sen. Allyson Schwartz.

On Council, Bass has championed quality-of-life improvement legislation, like increased regulation on clothing donation bins that often collect litter, and advocated for security cameras to be installed at rec centers and playgrounds across the city.

→ Facebook page is here

City Council District 9 (Democrat)
Yvette Young
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Young is an administrator and construction manager who has overseen projects for the School District of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Gas Works. A native of West Oak Lane, she’s director of facilities for the Pottsgrove school district. She has served on the board of Life Turning Point of Philadelphia, a nonprofit that provides shelter and Biblical life skills training to women and children.

Priorities include repairing failing schools, adopting harm reduction approaches to substance abuse to save lives, and opening more older adult centers. 

→ Campaign site is here

Anthony Phillips (incumbent)
YouTube video
PhillyCAM gave City Council candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of short issue-based and human-interest questions.

Phillips joined Council after winning a special election in November to succeed Cherelle Parker. A PhD student in Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, he founded the mentoring program Youth Action as a teen. He has worked at CCP and taught at a charter high school in Philadelphia.

Stated priorities include community policing, more responsive city services, beautification of 9th District business corridors, and working with block captains to provide resources.

→ Campaign site is here

James Williams
James Williams (Williams campaign)

Williams, who lives in Cedarbrook, is the publisher of Uptown Standard, a newspaper that covers several Northwest Philly neighborhoods. He’s previously worked in education, mental health, college athletics, and as a staffer for former Councilmember David Oh. He ran for City Council at large in 2015 as a Republican, and per his LinkedIn, has served as a Republican ward leader.

Per his campaign website, he wants a digital town watch program, to hold gun shops accountable for straw gun purchases, to end the tax abatement, and add a track and field training facility in his district.

→ Campaign site is here

City Council District 10 (Democrat)
Gary Masino

Masino is president and business manager of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19. He serves on the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority, a state body that offers low-interest financing options to businesses. During the Nutter administration he was on the Department of Licensing and Inspection’s board of appeals and the Zoning Board of Adjustments.

Masino has cited priorities including increased funding for the police and teachers, helping small businesses thrive, and promoting job creation. Billy Penn could not locate a campaign site.

City Council District 10 (Republican)
Brian O’Neill (incumbent)
Councilmember Brian O’Neill at the opening of the Northeast Municipal Services Center at 7522 Castor Ave. in 2016. (Flickr/PHL Council)

O’Neill, Philly’s only current Republican councilmember, is serving his 11th term. Before he was elected in 1979 he was a juvenile probation officer, law clerk in the Court of Common Pleas and attorney in private practice. He serves on the Philadelphia Airport Advisory Board and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau board.

During his last reelection campaign, O’Neill said he was focused on “protecting neighborhoods, strengthening playgrounds, and making sure volunteer groups are recognized by the city.” In 2019 he tried and failed to ban roof decks and limit the height of homes in his district.

→ Campaign site is here

City Commissioner

Created following the 1854 consolidation of city and county, the City Commissioners Office is in charge of administering voter registration and conducting elections across Philadelphia County. Considered county officials, these three elected members do not report to the mayor nor council. A single political party cannot have more than two seats on the board.

Omar Sabir (incumbent)

Sworn in as City Commissioner on Jan. 6, 2020, Sabir’s stated priority has been to enable greater participation by Philadelphians in the voting process. During his term, he created the Octavius Catto Taskforce to address voter apathy by educating communities on the necessity of civic engagement, and founded Vote Philly Vote, working to gradually increase voter turnout until more than 90% of all registered Philadelphians participate in city elections.

A graduate of Cheyney University and former union construction worker, Sabir previously served as senior staffer in the Office of Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes. Prior to his election, he held senior positions within Citizens for State Representative Louise Williams Bishop, and the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. Sabir was recently named one of the city’s Most Influential African Americans by the Philadelphia Tribune.

Campaign website

Lisa Deeley (incumbent)

As City Commissioner Chairwoman, Deeley oversaw the amendments to Pennsylvania’s elections law that led to a significant increase in mail-in voting at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and supervised the purchase of 3,750 new voting machines and construction of a new election center to enhance the city’s vote count speed. During her tenure, she has made a priority of providing voter education training and resources to community groups, senior organizations, civic centers, and schools.

Sworn in as City Commissioner in January 2016, Deeley was voted Chairwoman of Philadelphia City Commissioners in December of the following year by her colleagues. Her previous experience includes 12 years in the House of Representatives and the City Controller’s Office, where she directed community outreach efforts.

Currently seeking her third term, Deeley has secured endorsements from former mayor Ed Rendell as well as Philadelphia Young Democrats, First Ward Democrats, and the American Federation of Labor.

Campaign website

Seth Bluestein (incumbent)

Bluestein, a lifelong Philadelphian, has served as City Commissioner since February 2022, previously holding the position of Chief Deputy Commissioner for former City Commissioner Al Schmidt. His career in the Office of City Commissioners began in 2012, serving as Deputy Commissioner before being promoted to Chief Deputy Commissioner in 2017. 

Bluestein’s priorities are ensuring the fairness, accessibility, and security of city elections and improving the voter experience for Philadelphians. In the past, he has advocated for a redesign to bring increased transparency to the Office of the City Commissioners’ website, communications, and open data initiatives.

He was also the department’s Chief Integrity Officer from 2018 to 2021, supervising quality control audits and investigations into elections integrity – and, along with former boss Schmidt, coming under heavy fire from state and city Republicans, and then-president Trump for their role in running the 2020 presidential election in Philadelphia. He currently has the endorsement of the Republican City Committee.

Campaign website

City Controller 

Mayoral candidate Rebecca Rhynhart’s resignation last year triggered a two-part special election for city controller, Philadelphia’s independent fiscal watchdog for city government. The winner in November will take over for the rest of the term, which is set to end in early 2026. Find more info here.

Alexandra Hunt

Northwest Philly resident Hunt is an alumna of Temple’s College of Public Health who ran for Congress against incumbent U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans last May. Hunt has been a public health professional/clinical data manager, girls’ soccer coach, content creator, activist, and stripper. She points to her background in data science, her activism on behalf of marginalized communities, and her experience “facing an empty bank account” and paying her way through her education as qualifiers for the office.

Hunt’s priorities include vetting the efficacy of publicly-funded violence prevention and harm reduction programs, pushing for the city to divest from fossil fuels, investigating charter school finances, and identifying funding that Philadelphia could use to establish a public bank. She’s been endorsed by Philly Neighborhood Networks.

Campaign website

John Thomas

Thomas, of Northwest Philly, is currently a management consultant, per his campaign paperwork. He’s also a former Philadelphia deputy controller who worked in the office for over 12 years. Thomas says he’s also worked as a 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. If elected, he says he’d be the city’s first Black controller — a “milestone” he told Billy Penn he “would not take lightly.” 

Thomas’s priorities include advocating for increased diversity in government contracting, encouraging economic development in underserved communities, ensuring “transparency and accountability” in government spending, and reducing financial waste. He has been endorsed by the Laborers’ District Council, State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, and Tasco, according to the Inquirer.

Campaign website

Christy Brady

Brady, a certified public accountant who lives in Northeast Philly, has 28 years of experience working in the City Controller’s office. She started out as an auditor trainee, worked her way up to be the city’s first female deputy controller of audit, and served as acting controller for three months after Rhynhart’s resignation.

Brady’s priorities for the controller’s office include investigating code violation enforcement in construction, auditing the city’s Anti-Violence Community Expansion Grant Program, and following up on the audit of the city’s HealthChoices Fund. She’s gotten tons of endorsements, including from a dozen open wards, several unions, and the Philadelphia Democratic Party, which signaled its intent to endorse her before she even resigned as acting controller.

Campaign website

Aaron Bashir

Bashir, of Northeast Philly, is an accountant with degrees from several Philly colleges who’s also been a real estate investor, entrepreneur, and adjunct faculty member, according to a previous campaign website. He ran for U.S. Congress against Rep. Brendan Boyle last year, and two years before that, he ran for state House against the congressman’s brother, state Rep. Kevin Boyle. 

Facebook page

Register of Wills

The Register of Wills is a record-keeping office that, yep, validates and records wills. But the office also collects inheritance taxes, stores estate inventories, issues marriage licenses, keeps marriage records, and more. It’s a little-noticed position that switched hands four years ago for the first time in decades, and has recently generated some controversy.

Elizabeth Hall Lowe

Elizabeth Hall Lowe works at the pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline, ensuring federal regulation compliance. Lowe says she believes the office could use some big changes, and plans to digitize the office’s records as part of a redesign.

Rae K Hall

Rae Hall has worked inside City since 2006, including a stint at the Register of Wills between 2012-2016 — she’s currently working in the Mayor’s office. Hall believes that “morale at the Register of Wills is at an all-time low and the quality of work is suffering,” explaining her run for office. 

Hall is interested in updating the office’s software capabilities, digitizing records, and increasing hiring transparency. She’s endorsed by SEPTA’s largest union and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

John Sabatina

John Sabatina has been an estate lawyer for over 30 years, which he believes sets him up well to serve as the head of the Register of Wills. Sabatina has also been a ward leader in Northeast Philly for three decades. Like other candidates, Sabatina wants to digitize the office’s records and offer “efficient service” to residents. 

Sabatina has the most endorsements in the race, including from the Democratic City Committee and a bevy of local unions including the FOP, Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, and Steamfitters Local 420. 

Tracey L Gordon (incumbent)

Tracey Gordon was elected as the Register of Wills in 2019, in a surprise win. One of her primary focuses during her term has been to address “tangled titles,” when someone can’t prove their ownership of the property they inhabit because their name isn’t on the deed or title. 

Gordon has also faced some controversy: She hired a former state representative who was convicted on bribery charges, and is facing a lawsuit from a former employee who alleges she fired him because he didn’t donate to her reelection campaign.

Linwood Holland

Linwood Holland is a Philly native who has worked in a range of different industries including as an administrative assistant for a GlaxoSmithKline predecessor and in the city’s behavioral health system. He used to work for the Pennsylvania chapter of the libertarian conservative nonprofit Americans for Prosperity, founded by the Koch Brothers.  

He’s been active in the 35th GOP Ward for many years, and became ward leader in 2015.


The Sheriff’s Department dates to when Philadelphia County did not share the same borders as the City of Philadelphia. It’s now the law enforcement arm of the Philly court system, in charge of transporting prisoners, managing tax delinquent property sales and providing security for city courthouses. The office has a long history of mismanagement, corruption, and sexual harassment — and its current occupant has not escaped controversy.

Michael Untermeyer

Untermeyer, an attorney in private practice, is a former prosecutor who previously ran for sheriff, district attorney, and a City Council seat, sometimes as a Democrat and sometimes as a Republican. This year he put $250,000 of his own money into his campaign, which triggered the millionaire’s amendment and doubled contribution limits for the race. He’s says he’ll serve just one term to focus on reforming the office, attacking the current sheriff for accumulating tens of thousands of unserved bench warrants and for presiding over a number of scandals.

Rochelle Bilal (incumbent)

Bilal is a former Philadelphia police officer who became the city’s first elected Black woman sheriff in 2020. She touts her work modernizing sheriff’s sales, improving the department’s hiring process, and suspending evictions during the early days of the pandemic.

But the office has continued to see scandals since she was elected: more than 200 guns reportedly went missing from the department, and a sheriff’s deputy was charged with selling two firearms used in the deadly shooting near Roxborough High School. Bilal has been accused of retaliating against staffers and reportedly tried to double her own salary. The city’s Democratic committee has endorsed her reelection bid.

Jackie L. Miles

Miles is the director of security for the NBA‘s Washington Wizards. According to his Facebook page, he previously worked for the Milwaukee Bucks and as a deputy sheriff in Philadelphia, served in the U.S. Marines, and has been a “semi-professional” boxer. He was also once a corrections officer per The Inquirer, and is running for sheriff because he feels the office ”is losing credibility.”

Mark Lavelle

Lavelle is a River Wards native, warehouse manager, and coach for youth sports teams, according to his LinkedIn profile. He ran for District 177 state representative in Northeast Philly last year and lost to the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Joe Hohenstein. A self-described “neighborhood guy,” his priorities are “transparency, accountability, and new hires,” and he says he stands out for his open-mindedness and for not being influenced by politics. The city’s Republican committee has endorsed him.

Justice of the Supreme Court

Justices in Pennsylvania’s seven-seat high court serve 10-year terms and run for subsequent terms in up-or-down retention elections without an opponent. The court has a four-member Democratic majority, two Republicans, and one vacant seat that will be filled in the November election. Vote for 1.

Daniel McCaffery

McCaffery was elected to Superior Court in 2020 and was previously an assistant DA in Philly, an attorney in private practice in Montgomery County, and a judge in the Court of Common Pleas. He is active in Democratic politics and has been endorsed by the state party. He is rated “highly recommended” by the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania bar associations.

Debbie Kunselman

Kunselman, of Beaver County, was elected to Superior Court in 2017. She was previously the chief solicitor for Beaver County and was the first woman elected as a judge in the county in 2005. She is rated “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Patricia A. McCullough

McCullough, of Dauphin County, is a Commonwealth Court appellate judge who previously served in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas and in private practice. She has been endorsed by state senator and former gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, Gun Owners of America, and the PA Pro-Life Federation. She is rated “not recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for not participating in the judicial evaluation process.

Carolyn Carluccio

Carluccio, of Montgomery County, has served as a Court of Common Pleas judge since 2009. She was previously an assistant U.S. attorney in Delaware and chief public defender in Montgomery County. She is rated “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Judge of the Superior Court

The Superior Court is one of two statewide intermediate appellate courts, along with the Commonwealth Court. Cases are usually heard by panels of three judges sitting in Philadelphia, Harrisburg or Pittsburgh, but may also be heard ‘en banc’ by nine judges. Vote for 2.

Patrick Dugan

Dugan is a Philadelphia municipal court judge and former Army officer. He is rated “not recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for not participating in the judicial evaluation process, and rated “recommended” by the Philadelphia bar.

Timika Lane

Lane, of Philadelphia, has served in the city’s Court of Common Pleas since 2013. She was previously a public defender and arbitrator, and chief counsel of the PA Senate’s State Government Committee. She is rated “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania and state bar associations.

Jill Beck

Beck, of Pittsburgh, is an attorney who has served as a law clerk in the state Superior Court and Supreme Court. She previously ran for Superior Court in 2021. She is rated “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania and state bar associations.

Maria Battista

Battista, of Clarion County, is an attorney who worked in the administration of Gov. Tom Corbett, for various state agencies, as a county prosecutor, and for the U.S. Navy. She is rated “not recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for not participating in the judicial evaluation process.

Harry F. Smail Jr.

Smail is a Court of Common Pleas judge in Westmoreland County. He was previously solicitor for the Westmoreland Republican Committee and a member of the Republican State Committee. He is rated “recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Judge of the Commonwealth Court

One of Pennsylvania’s two intermediate appellate courts, it holds jurisdiction over administrative and civil public law. Composed of nine judges, who oversee cases involving state and local government and regulatory agencies. Judges serve 10-year terms and preside over cases in panels of three, with courts sitting in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg. Currently there is a 5 to 3 Republican majority on the court, with a vacant seat. Vote for 1.

Matt Wolf

The only sitting judge in the race, Wolf assumed office in the Philadelphia Municipal Court in 2018 before taking over as supervising judge of the Civil Division in September 2020. A decorated veteran currently serving in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Wolf describes himself as a “champion for civil rights,” and promotes his pro-choice stance at the top of his campaign website. He has secured endorsements from the Laborers’ District Council, the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters and Liberty City LGBTQ Democratic Club, as well as being recommended by the state and city’s bar associations.

During his tenure, Wolf has worked to highlight housing inequities, and helped institute an eviction diversion program preventing landlords from locking tenants out of their homes during the COVID pandemic.

Bryan Neft

An attorney in private practice for over 30 years, Neft has also served as president of the Allegheny Bar Association and sat on its Board of Governors. He says it was his work advocating for women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ members of the legal profession that resulted in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointing him as chair of its Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Board, where he instituted programs facilitating legal aid assistance for those who cannot afford it.

A Mt. Lebanon resident with roots in Pittsburgh, Neft’s priority is the protection of individual rights. He has received endorsements from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Pennsylvania State building and Construction Trades Council, and the Steel City Stonewall Democrats, as well as a recommendation by the PA Bar Association.

Josh Prince

As Chief Counsel of the Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. and an attorney at Prince Law Offices, P.C., Prince is the fourth generation of his family to be practicing law in Berks County. His work as an attorney has centered on the protection of civil liberties, specifically the right to bear arms, for which he has represented upwards of 8000 individual clients. Since 2009, he has appeared before the state’s appellate courts 45 times, and, according to his campaign website bio, “was the first attorney in the Commonwealth to file a challenge, before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, to the disastrous COVID lockdowns.”

A cum laude graduate of both McGill and Widener, Prince has received endorsements from the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation PAC, Firearms Owners Against Crime PAC, Gun Owners of America, Pennsylvania Sheriff Association’s Action PAC, and Dick Heller, but failed to receive a recommendation from the state Bar Association.

Megan Martin

Delaware-born Megan Martin made history as the first woman to serve as the Pennsylvania Senate’s Secretary-Parliamentarian, a position she held from May 2012 to November 2022. Martin also served as the Pennsylvania Senate’s Right To Know Law appeals officer, reviewing Senate RTKL appeals and providing legal opinions based on the RTK law, a record of which can be seen here.

Beginning her career as a law clerk in the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, Martin later served in the administrations of two governors – Tom Corbett and Tom Ridge – before working as assistant counsel for the U.S. Navy’s Office of General Counsel. She names “faith, family, [and] hard work” as her guiding values. In addition to a recommendation from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, she has received endorsements from the Republican Party of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

Judge of the Court of Common Pleas 

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas handles appeals from minor courts, and hears a wide range of civil and criminal cases. The court has original jurisdiction over cases not explicitly assigned to higher courts. Vote for 10.

Natasha Taylor-Smith

Natasha Taylor-smith is a Assistant Federal Defender in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who is Highly Recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association. A Central High and Temple Law graduate, Taylor-smith was an attorney with the Defenders Association of Philly for seven years. After eight years in private practice she moved to the Montgomery County Solicitor’s Office and then to her current role. 

Campaign website

Caroline Turner

Caroline Turner was born in Germany as a British citizen, and first entered the workforce as a nurse in London. After moving stateside in 1998, she studied bioethics at Penn and law at Temple. Following that, she spent 11 years as a public defender in New Jersey before becoming a medical malpractice attorney for public injury firm Swartz Culleton PC, her current gig. Turner has been Recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association. 

Campaign website

Kenneth Joel

Joel was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas last year. After working in private practice, Joel was the Chief Deputy Attorney General and head of litigation for the PA Attorney General’s Office between 2014-2018, and then served as Deputy General Counsel for Governor Wolf.  Joel is Recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association. 

Campaign website

Brian McLaughlin

McLaughlin was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas last year, and currently oversees dependency law cases. Recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Philly native’s first gig was as an assistant district attorney for five years, before eventually starting a firm (McCullough, McLaughlin, Mincarelli & McCloskey) with coworkers. He worked there until his appointment.

Tamika Washington

Washington was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas last year, after a lengthy career spanning public and private roles. Washington was an assistant city solicitor from 2005-2009 before entering private practice, but has served as arbitrator for Common Pleas for over a decade. 

Recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association, she worked as a volunteer settlement judge to help the system cut through its COVID-induced backlog.

Campaign website

Damaris Garcia

Garcia was born in Kensington, attended Duquesne University, and has been a civil litigation lawyer for 20 years. Garcia’s resume includes stints with major firms like AIG and Nationwide Insurance. Garcia is Recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association and endorsed by the Democratic City Committee. 

Campaign website

Qawi Abdul-Rahman

Abdul-Rahman is a criminal defense attorney with over 25 years of experience in the region. He was a public defender in Dade County, Florida, before moving back to Philly, where he grew up. Abdul-Rahman was publicly reprimanded by the state Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board in 2020 for failing to perform “any significant work” for a client. He is rated “Not Recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association. 

Campaign website

Samantha Williams

Samantha Williams, a West Philly native, served as an assistant district attorney from 2014 to 2016, and was most recently Councilmember Curtis Jones’s legislation and policy director. 

Recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association, Williams was described as a “major driving force” in crafting the bill that created the Civilian Police Oversight Commission, Philly’s police oversight body.

 → Campaign website

Joe Green

Green worked in social services (before attending law school), as a defense attorney, in the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. He is “not recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Campaign website

Will Braveman

Braveman has run a private solo practice for over a decade where he focuses on labor, employment, mental health, child welfare, and personal injury law, and he previously spent 12 years working for the City of Philadelphia’s Law Department, working in child welfare, mental health, and labor and employment. He’s been endorsed by the Democratic City Committee, the Working Families Party, and a few unions, and is “recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Campaign website

Wade D. Albert

Albert currently litigates employment discrimination and wage cases and works in election and zoning law, and he has previously run pro-bono expungement clinics and clerked for judges on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. He has been endorsed by the Democratic City Committee, the Working Families Party, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund, and is “recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Campaign website

Chelsey Lightsey

Lightsey worked in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for about 17 years, focusing on criminal law and serving as the chief of the homicide/non-fatal shooting unit and juvenile division while she was there. She has been endorsed by the Democratic City Committee, the LGBTQ Victory Fund, and two unions, and is “highly recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Campaign website

Jessica R. Brown

Brown, currently a union lawyer, has previously worked as a public defender and at the U.S. Department of Labor prosecuting companies that “forced people to work in unsafe conditions or failed to pay their employees properly,” according to her campaign website. She has been endorsed by the Working Families Party and several unions, and is “recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Campaign website

Kay Yu

Yu currently works as a neutral arbitrator and mediator, but she’s also worked in employee benefits and other employment litigation, as chair of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, and as voter protection director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. She has been endorsed by the Democratic City Committee, the Working Families Party, and almost a dozen unions, and is “highly recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Campaign website

Melissa Francis

Over the past three decades, Francis has worked in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office as a trial attorney and chief of the dangerous drug offender unit, as well as in the state Office of the Attorney General. She is “recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Facebook page

John Padova

Padova is a Philadelphia native who spent 30 years as a trial attorney before being appointed to the Court of Common Pleas in 2019. A supporter of reforming cash bail and promoting diversionary programs for nonviolent offenders, he is endorsed by many unions and the Democratic City Committee, as well as “highly recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Campaign site

Judge of the Municipal Court

Philadelphia Municipal Court’s 27 judges are elected for 6-year terms, after which run in yes-no retention elections. The court has three divisions: the Criminal Division hears trials for misdemeanors and summary offenses as well as preliminary matters in felony cases. Small claims, landlord tenant evictions, and civil enforcement claims are settled by the Civil Division, while the Traffic Division was established in 2013, following the abolishment of the Philadelphia Traffic Court. Vote for 2.

Barbara Thomson

New York-born Barbara Thomson’s career began in 1985, working on criminal reform issues at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office before transitioning to MTA New York City Transit, eventually moving up to its executive level. Since moving to Philadelphia 20 years ago, Thomson says she has contributed to projects such as the creation of the SEPTA Key Card and working with the city to provide support for asylum seekers. Currently an arbitrator for Philadelphia’s Compulsory Arbitration Center for civil actions, Thomson has also volunteered as a clerk for municipal judge Thomas Gehret. Thomson has been recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Rania Major

Since judges are expected to be non-partisan, candidate judges can run for both parties — so goes the reasoning on Rania Major’s campaign website, which promises “a brighter future” for Democrat and Republican voters alike. A graduate of the University of North Carolina with a J.D. from Samford University, Major has been practicing law at her own firm since 1997 and claims to be the only candidate with experience in all divisions of the municipal court. Her website touts her advocacy work for homeless and minority groups, in addition to her radio personality as “The Pitbull Lawyer.” Major was charged with contempt of court and issued a $5,000 bail while practicing in 2013.

Colleen McIntyre Osborne

A graduate of Georgetown University and Drexel Law School, Philadelphia native Osborne has over 10 years’ experience as a city prosecutor and claims to be the only candidate with both prosecutorial and defense experience, having joined the U.S. Army Reserve JAG Corps as a defense attorney. Since 2022, she has also been working with the School District of Philadelphia, investigating allegations of discrimination and harassment. Osborne has earned a recommended rating by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Melissa Francis

A lifelong Philadelphian, Francis started off as a judicial clerk in Delaware County’s Court of Common Pleas before joining the Philadelphia District Office in 1998, where she stayed until 2018. A trial attorney and trial division supervisor for her first 15 years at the DOA, she later became chief of the dangerous drug offender unit, part of the office’s investigations division. Francis cites her experience and the fact that she has “been in the courtroom nearly every day for the past 25 years” as the main reason Philadelphians should vote for her. She has received a “recommended” rating by the Philadelphia Bar Association. 

Rania M Major (yep, again)

Since judges are expected to be non-partisan, candidate judges can run for both parties — so goes the reasoning on Rania Major’s campaign website, which promises “a brighter future” for Democrat and Republican voters alike. A graduate of the University of North Carolina with a J.D. from Samford University, Major has been practicing law at her own firm since 1997 and claims to be the only candidate with experience in all divisions of the municipal court. Her website touts her advocacy work for homeless and minority groups, in addition to her radio personality as “The Pitbull Lawyer.” Major was charged with contempt of court and issued a $5,000 bail while practicing in 2013.

This article has been updated to include John Padova, judicial candidate for Court of Common Pleas. We regret the omission.

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Asha Prihar is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn. She has previously written for several daily newspapers across the Midwest, and she covered Pennsylvania state government and politics for The...

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Jordan Levy is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn, always aiming to help Philadelphians share their stories. Formerly, he has worked at Document Journal, n+1 Magazine, and The New Republic. He...

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Meir Rinde is an investigative reporter at Billy Penn covering topics ranging from politics and government to history and pop culture. He’s previously written for PlanPhilly, Shelterforce, NJ Spotlight,...

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Ali MohsenFood & Drink Reporter

Ali Mohsen is Billy Penn's food and drink reporter.