Philadelphia’s Democratic mayoral primary will be held Tuesday, May 16. This key election will determine which candidate runs in November’s mayoral election for a chance to serve as Philadelphia’s one-hundredth mayor. This guide offers more information about the election, including how to vote and background on the candidates.
Completed mail-in or absentee ballots must be received by the county board of elections by 8 p.m., and they may be dropped off in person. The county board of elections is located at 142 City Hall, 1400 JFK Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
If you are voting in person, polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can visit vote.phila.gov to find your polling place and ward and division number.
What is a primary election?
In primary elections, voters who are affiliated with the Democrats or Republicans must vote for their party’s nominees. If you don’t belong to either of those parties, you may still vote on ballot questions.
This election will decide which candidates will be on the November 7 ballot. Here is a complete list of candidates running for Philadelphia mayor:
Warren Bloom: Philadelphian who has run for other positions at least six times. His priorities include strengthening public schools, creating better health care access and protecting women’s health rights, creating a safer city with “environmental excellence” and fighting for ministerial leadership for the city.
Amen Brown: The youngest candidate, a West Philly native that served in the State House. His priorities include a 3-year Business Income & Receipts Tax abatement for small businesses, starting a social media taskforce to monitor “gang activity” and making it illegal to wear ski masks, and implementing a blight removal plan and update of trash collection system.
Jeff Brown: Known as a grocery store magnate praised for opening stores in “food deserts” in Black and brown neighborhoods. He is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the Transport Workers Union. His priorities include addressing generational poverty and encouraging minority entrepreneurs, hiring more police officers and building institutional support for returning citizens — people facing the transition from prisons and jails to society.
James M. “Jimmy” DeLeon: A retired West Philly judge who served on the Municipal Court for 34 years and chaired the legal committee for the Democratic City Committee. His priorities include coordinating anti-violence efforts of law enforcement agencies, hiring 1,500 new police officers and establishing citywide rent control.
Allan Domb: A real estate businessman who has served two terms as a councilmember. He is endorsed by former Mayor Bill Green. His priorities include decreasing violence with a 10-point action plan, providing affordable housing and improving K-12 education with a focus on entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
Delscia Gray: Philadelphia native who currently serves as protective services officer with Jefferson Health. She does not have an online campaign presence, but an interview with Metro Philadelphia revealed her priorities of anti-violence and focusing the School District’s resources on building a K-12 school in Center City that would enroll many public school students.
Helen Gym: An education activist who served two terms on City Council. She has been endorsed by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Working Families Party, Reclaim Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Her priorities include taking a unified approach to public safety, establishing accessibility to fully-funded public schools and expanding affordable housing and its protection as a human right.
Cherelle Parker: Northwest Philadelphia native who served as a state representative in Harrisburg for 10 years, followed by seven years of service on the Philadelphia City Council. Her priorities include implementing a city safety plan, including more police presence, increasing year-round schooling in public education and reducing wage and business taxes.
Rebecca Rhynhart: Former city treasurer, city budget director, chief administrative officer and the first woman to serve as City Controller. She is endorsed by three former mayors and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her priorities include reducing violent crime, increasing school funding and quality of education and increasing economic opportunity that is “shared and sustainable” according to her campaign website.
David Oh: A former assistant district attorney who served on the City Council for nearly three years. His priorities include stricter prosecution and sentencing, a direct election of five school board seats and increasing job growth by attracting new businesses.
What are the Ballot Questions?
- Should The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to expand the requirements for annual minimum appropriations to the Budget Stabilization Reserve, more commonly known as the “rainy day fund”?
- Should The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to create the Division of Workforce Solutions within the Department of Commerce and to define its duties?
- Should The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to make employees of the Citizens Police Oversight Commission exempt from civil service hiring requirements?
- Should The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to create the Office of the Chief Public Safety Director and to define its powers, duties and responsibilities?
Philadelphia’s 2023 primary also features races for state Supreme, Commonwealth and Superior Courts, alongside local elections including City Council at-large and district seats, City Commissioner, City Controller, and Sheriff positions. The full list of positions can be viewed in this article from Billy Penn.