May 17, 2023
Tuesday's primary election in Philadelphia featured a large slate of candidates vying for all 17 seats on City Council, including the legislative body's seven at-large council seats.
In nine of the city's 10 district races, incumbents were either projected to win or held leads overnight Tuesday. Six district races were uncontested. In the 5th District, where Council President Darrell Clarke will retire at the end of his term, Jeffrey Jay Young ran unchallenged. Williams was formerly Clarke's legislative counsel.
The city's at-large council candidates run in citywide campaigns. Voters in Tuesday's election selected up to five candidates running in their parties' primary election. There were 27 Democrats and six Republicans on the parties' respective ballots, and the five from each party who receive the most votes will advance to the general election in November, along with any third party candidates.
As of Wednesday morning, three Democratic candidates have won the primary for City Council's at-large race. Among them are incumbents Isaiah Thomas and Katherine Gilmore-Richardson. Rue Landau, the former executive director of the city's Commission on Human Relations who declared victory on Tuesday night, has also won the Democratic primary, according to the Associated Press. Two more winners will be called as votes continue to be counted.
Democratic incumbent Jim Harrity and former Kenney administration official Nina Ahmad remain among the top vote-getters in the at-large race, with 6.8% and 5.5% of the vote, respectively. The Associate Press estimates 86.7% of the vote has been counted as of 10 a.m. Wednesday.
On the Republican side, candidates Drew Murray, Frank Cristinzio, Gary Grisafi and Jim Hasher will advance to November's general election, according to the Associated Press. One more winner will be called as votes continue to be counted. Mary Jane Kelly, who has remained a leading candidate since the polls closed on Tuesday evening, has received 13.7% of expected votes, though she has not been declared a winner.
To guarantee some bipartisan representation on City Council, one party cannot hold more than five of the seven at-large seats. This ensures at least two seats go to the minority party — which historically in Philadelphia has been the Republicans — or independent candidates.
Councilmember Kendra Brooks, of the Working Families Party, holds one of those seats. She is running for re-election and will be on the ballot in November with any other independent party candidates.
The City Council elections in November will reshape council, which is in line to have at least 12 council members who will have served one term or less.
The results of the Philadelphia City Council elections will be updated in the charts below as they become available.
The city's at-large council candidates run in citywide campaigns as opposed to the 10 district councilmembers who represent defined geographic areas of the city.
Information about each of the candidates who ran is published on the Committee of Seventy's website.
Below are the results for the 27 Democratic candidates running for at-large seats on City Council. By around 10 a.m., the AP estimated 86.7% of the vote had been counted. Isaiah Thomas, Katherine Gilmore-Richardson and Rue Landau have earned the Democratic nomination and will advance to November's general election. Other top candidates include Jim Harrity and Nina Ahmad.
Below is the slate of six Republicans running for at-large council seats in the primary. As of around 10 a.m., the AP estimated 88% of the vote had been counted. Drew Murray, Frank Cristinzio, Gary Grisafi and Jim Hasher will advance to November's general election.
Philadelphia's 1st District covers neighborhoods along the Delaware River from South Philly up to the River Wards, in addition to Old City and Chinatown in Center City. Three-term Democratic incumbent Mark Squilla does not have a challenger on the primary ballot. There is no candidate on the Republican ballot.
Philadelphia's 2nd District represents parts of Center City, South Philly and Southwest Philly including the sports complex, the Navy Yard and the airport. Three-term Democratic incumbent Kenyatta Johnson does not have an opponent in his primary. There is no candidate on the Republican ballot.
City Council's 3rd District includes neighborhoods in West Philly and parts of Southwest Philly including University City, Powelton Village, Belmont, Elmwood Park, Mantua, Cobbs Creeks, Kingsessing and Walnut Hill. Democratic incumbent Jamie Gauthier is seeking a second term and does not have a challenger in the primary. There is no candidate on the Republican ballot.
City Council's 4th District covers Northwest neighborhoods including East Falls, Manayunk, Roxborough, Overbrook, Overbrook Park and Wynnefield. Three-term Democratic incumbent Curtis Jones Jr. does not have a challengers in his primary. There is no candidate in the Republican primary.
Philadelphia's 5th District on City Council represents North Philadelphia and parts of the neighborhoods surrounding Center City immediately to the north, including Fairmount, Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Fairhill, Brewerytown and Francisville. Darrell Clarke, who has represented the 5th District since 1999, announced his retirement in February.
The only 5th District candidate to appear on the Democratic primary ballot will be attorney Jeffrey Young Jr., who formerly served as Clarke's legislative counsel. Real estate agent Robin Altuko is campaigning as a write-in candidate in the 5th District. There is no candidate on the Republican ballot.
Philadelphia's 6th District covers neighborhoods in Northeast Philly. Partial-term incumbent Mike Driscoll won a special election last year to take over the seat of former Council Member Bobby Henon, after being found guilty in federal court for embezzlement and theft. Henon has since been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.
Driscoll does not have a challenger in the primary. There is no candidate on the Republican ballot.
Philadelphia's 7th District includes portions of neighborhoods in North Philly, including Kensington, Harrowgate, Hunting Park, Feltonville, Fairhill, Wissinoming and Oxford Circle. Incumbent Quetzy Lozada, who formerly served as Maria Quiñones Sánchez’s chief of staff, won a special election last November to take the seat of her former boss.
Lozada is running against Andrés Celin, an educator, social worker and community organizer in Kensington. There is no candidate on the Republican ballot.
Philadelphia's 8th District covers neighborhoods in Northwest Philly, including Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, Germantown, Wissahickon, Nicetown-Tioga, Allgeheny and parts of East Falls.
Democrat Cindy Bass is running for her fourth term and she faces a primary challenge from labor organizer Seth Anderson-Oberman. There is no candidate on the Republican ballot.
City Council's 9th District represents parts of Northwest and Northeast Philly, including West and East Oak Lane, Olney, Lawncrest, Lawndale, Burholme, East Mount Airy and Oxford Circle.
Anthony Phillips has won the Democratic primary for City Council's 9th District, the Associated Press reported. Phillips won a special election in November to finish the remainder of Cherelle Parker's term when she resigned to run for mayor. He will run uncontested in November's general election, as there is no candidate on the Republican ballot.
City Council's 10th District covers the Far Northeast neighborhoods, including Fox Chase, Rhawnhurst, Torresdale, Bustleton and Somerton.
Eleven-term Republican incumbent Brian O'Neill, who has represented the district since 1979, does not have an opponent in the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, labor leader Gary Masino is the only candidate on the ballot.