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April 13, 2023

Derek Green exits race for Philadelphia mayor

The former councilmember championed legislation to strengthen the city's campaign finance laws

2023 Election Mayoral Race
Derek Green Campaign Suspended Provided Image/Philadelphia City Council

Derek Green, a lawyer and former member of City Council, has suspended his campaign for Philadelphia mayor. Green, 51, was among the first to declare his candidacy for mayor in a crowded primary race.

Derek Green, a former member of City Council and one of 10 Democrats running for mayor of Philadelphia, announced on Thursday that he is suspending his campaign. 

Green, who was first elected as an at-large member of City Council in 2015, was one of the first Democrats to join what is now a crowded mayoral race. He joined Maria Quiñones Sánchez, who suspended her campaign on Sunday, in resigning from City Council to run for mayor on the same day in September.

"It was an honor and privilege to run for mayor of my hometown, with the hope of restoring pride in the birthplace of our country," Green said in a statement. "Words cannot adequately express the appreciation I have for my family, supporters, and campaign staff, who have been by my side throughout this journey. I'm so proud of what we accomplished together on this campaign, and I look forward to continuing that work as a citizen." 

Green served nearly two terms as a councilmember before resigning to run for mayor. During that time, he chaired the finance and disabilities committees, where he championed legislation to address ethical issues within the city's campaign finance laws and make it easier for whistleblowers to avoid retaliation for reporting violations to the Board of Ethics. 

Green has also pushed for Philadelphia to establish its first municipal public bank. The legislation, which passed City Council last spring but has not been signed into law by Mayor Jim Kenney, would provide financial support and resources to hard-to-lend-to businesses and organizations throughout the city. 

Prior to his time in Council, Green worked as an assistant district attorney, a deputy solicitor under former Mayor John Street and a staffer for former Councilmember Marian Tasco. A Philadelphia native, Green graduated from the University of Virginia and Temple University School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He also worked as a banker and a small business lender before pursuing a legal career. 

"I am deeply concerned, yet absolutely hopeful for the future of Philadelphia," Green said. "Our city is at an inflection point, and voters will be choosing a leader who must guide us through some of our city's greatest struggles. The challenges we face are enormous, but I believe that we, as Philadelphians, have the capacity to put aside our differences and meet the challenges head on. The effort will start with a mayor who leads with empathy and with an intense resolve to never give up, no matter how difficult the path may be." 

Green cited fundraising issues as the reason for suspending his campaign, telling the Inquirer that his decision came down to "realizing how we get to the end of this race and the dollars that are necessary to do what we need to do." 

Like Quiñones Sánchez, Green did not have the support of a super PAC and was not self-funding his campaign. Quiñones Sánchez said she dropped out due to the "obnoxious, obscene amount of money" in the race.

Green did not specify whether he would remain in public life following his exit from the mayoral race, but he will continue his work as a lawyer with Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel in Center City. 

There are nine Democratic candidates running to become Philadelphia's 100th mayor, as well as David Oh, the lone Republican seeking the office. Green did not specify whether he would endorse one of the remaining candidates before the Philadelphia primary election on Tuesday, May 16.