Dec 1, 2021 - News

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt to head good government group

Philadelphia City Commissioners Al Schmidt, right, and Lisa Deeley speak to the media as election workers process ballots for the general election
Philadelphia City Commissioners Al Schmidt, right, and Lisa Deeley speak to the media as election workers process ballots for the 2020 general election. Photo: Matt Slocum/AP

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schimdt is forgoing a fourth-term run to lead local government watchdog group Committee of Seventy next year.

Driving the news: The nonprofit named Schmidt as its new CEO, starting Jan. 3, 2022, according to a statement released Tuesday.

  • "I look forward to stepping into this new role and building on the organization's 117-year history of delivering democracy," Schmidt said.

Why it matters: Schmidt, the sole Republican on the election board, is known for defending the integrity of Philadelphia's electoral process in 2020 amid former President Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud.

Flashback: Schmidt announced he wouldn't be seeking a fourth term at the start of this year.

  • The Committee of Seventy's current CEO, David Thornburgh, announced in July he would be stepping down in 2022. He'll move into a senior adviser role with the nonprofit, focusing on fair redistricting and opening Pennsylvania’s primary elections to independent voters.

What they're saying: "Following the unprecedented 2020 presidential election, the voting process in Philadelphia would not have been the success that it was without the work of the Committee of Seventy," Schmidt said in a statement.

  • Thornburgh called Schmidt "a perfect fit."
  • "In terms of character, he showed himself in 2020 to be able to speak truth to power," Thornburgh added.
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