Your complete guide to the mayor’s race

mayoral race Philadelphia
Getty Images

Whoever emerges victorious from Tuesday’s Democratic primary for mayor will likely become Philadelphia’s next leader.

David Oh, the only mayoral candidate on the other party’s ballot, might not agree. A former City Council member with an appeal that extends beyond the GOP’s traditional base, he is one of the more formidable Republicans to run for mayor in recent decades.

But, in a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans at a rate of better than 7-to-1, the party’s nominee will be heavily favored in November’s general election.

A poll released Thursday by Emerson College and PHL17 – one of the few independent surveys in the race – showed a four-way tie between Helen Gym, Cherelle Parker, Rebecca Rhynhart and Alan Domb. Jeff Brown trailed close behind.

Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on the primary, and campaigns will be pushing through Election Day for every vote. Here’s a final look at the candidates.

Cherelle Parker
Democratic mayoral candidate Cherelle Parker arrives Wednesday, Feb. 22, for an event announcing an endorsement from the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council.Metro file

Cherelle Parker, like Gym, Domb and Oh, resigned from City Council to launch her mayoral bid. She represented parts of Northwest, upper North and lower Northeast Philadelphia for nearly two terms.

Previously, she served as a state representative and worked under influential former Councilmember Marian Tasco.

Parker wants to hire hundreds of more police officers to address gun violence and expand the hours schools buildings are open. Among her more ambitious proposals is doing away with summer break and instituting a year-round academic calendar.

Endorsements: Philadelphia Building Trades Council, Eastern Atlantic States Council of Carpenters, U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, Council President Darrell Clarke, Philadelphia Black Clergy

James DeLeon
James DeLeon served as a municipal court judge for more than three decades before launching his mayoral bid.Jack Tomczuk

James DeLeon spent more than 30 years as a municipal court judge, and he believes that experience in the criminal justice system sets him apart from the other candidates.

Considered a long shot in the race, DeLeon developed a plan based on the National Incident Management System – a federal set of procedures developed after 9/11 – to respond to the city’s gun violence crisis.

Rebecca Rhynhart
Rebecca Rhynhart argues that her experience in the mayor’s office and as city controller makes her the most qualified candidate.Cecilia Orlando

Rebecca Rhynhart spent time as a top financial deputy under mayors Michael Nutter and Jim Kenney before becoming City Controller.

“I also know the city’s budget inside and out,” she told the Metro as part of our Mayor’s Race Spotlight Series. “I’m the most qualified person with my executive experience in the city.”

If elected, Rhynhart plans to declare a violence emergency and coordinate a heightened response in the 14 zip codes most affected by shootings and homicides. She wants to strike a balance between supporting police and holding officers accountable for misbehavior.

Endorsements: Former mayors Michael Nutter, John Street and Ed Rendell, and the Inquirer

Delscia GrayJack Tomczuk

Delscia Gray is a hospital security guard and first-time candidate for elected office. She is a self-described “committee of one” who makes campaign signs out of discarded cardboard and styrofoam.

Amen Brown
State Rep. Amen Brown is among a crowded field running in the Democratic primary for mayor.Jack Tomczuk

Amen Brown, a state representative from West Philadelphia, believes progressive experiments have failed.

A survivor of gun violence, he supports “legal/bias free pedestrian stops” and would replace Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. He also plans to appoint pro-charter members to the Board of Education.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown has branded himself as a politics outsider. He believes voters are yearning for a change.Jeff Brown For Mayor

Jeff Brown, who built a chain of grocery stores, has been pitching himself as a political outsider who knows how to solve complex problems. In collaboration with government partners, he opened supermarkets in lower income neighborhoods.

An independent expenditure committee that is backing his campaign was recently sued by the city’s Board of Ethics, which is alleging that the group illegally coordinated with Brown. The committee agreed to stop spending money to elect Brown while the case is pending.

Brown’s platform includes hiring 1,500 new police officers; expanding career and technical education in city schools; and improving safety on the SEPTA system.

Endorsements: AFSCME District Council 33, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, Transport Workers Local 234, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, The Guardian Civic League

Warren Bloom faces an uphill battle to win on May 16.Cecilia Orlando

Warren Bloom, a Christian minister who has launched many failed bids for elected office, wants to be Philadelphia’s “spiritual father.” To combat gun violence, he would launch a series of public service announcements with positive messages.

Allan Domb
Domb pushed for expanded outdoor dining during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.Metro file

Allan Domb, a former City Council member and real estate broker, describes himself as a results-oriented thinker who has “no ego.”

His public safety plan sets a goal of cutting shootings and homicides in half. Domb supports “constitutional” stop-and-frisk and plans to declare a state of emergency around crime.

He has published a detailed ethics plan for transitioning out of his various businesses if elected. Domb has injected more than $10 million of his own money into his campaign.

Endorsements: Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors, former Mayor Bill Green

Helen Gym
Helen Gym was elected to City Council in 2015.Cecilia Orlando

Helen Gym, a former council member and progressive favorite, believes Philadelphia’s gun violence and education problems need to be tackled together. She would declare a violence emergency and develop a 10-year plan to address the city’s aging school facilities.

At City Hall, she led efforts to create an eviction diversion program during the COVID-19 pandemic and spearheaded legislation to mandate employers provide service workers with more predictable schedules.

​Gym was scheduled to host a rally Sunday evening with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, after Metro went to print.

Endorsements: Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, UNITE HERE Philadelphia, AFSCME District Council 47, Working Families Party, Sierra Club, Reclaim Philadelphia

How to vote

Polls will be open for in-person voting from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. To find your polling place, type your address in at

Mail-in ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. Election Day. The City Commissioners have installed 18 dropboxes, which are available 24/7. For a complete list of locations, go to

Voters have to return their own ballot, unless they are physically unable to make the trip and complete a form designating someone else as a delivery agent.