Feb 2, 2023 - Politics

Philadelphia mayoral candidates haul in cash, finance reports show

Philadelphia mayoral candidates' campaign finance
Data: City of Philadelphia; Chart: Axios Visuals. Editor's note: This chart has been corrected to show that Derek Green had $440.5k cash on hand, not $246.5k, as city data initially indicated.

Mayoral candidates have already raised millions of dollars ahead of the May primary.

Driving the news: Annual campaign finance reports for 2022 gave us a first look at the campaign war chests of those running to become the city’s 100th mayor.

  • The filings show the cash raised and spent by candidates, along with their donors.
  • The open mayoral race has drawn more than a half a dozen Democratic candidates and no Republicans.

Why it matters: Fundraising is a marker of candidate strength in a crowded field for a citywide election that traditionally has low voter turnout.

  • The financial reports could also influence future donors and endorsements.

The May primaries also include races for the 17-member City Council, city commissioner and sheriff.

Between the lines: Axios reviewed all the mayoral candidates’ campaign finance reports on the city’s website. Here are some interesting numbers that caught our eye:

  • Real estate magnate and former City Council member Allan Domb raised $5.7 million, $5 million of which was his own money that he put into his campaign.
  • Grocer Jeff Brown, who owns several ShopRite stores in the region, contributed at least $240,000 of his own money out of more than $1 million raised.

The intrigue: Super PACs, independent groups that can’t coordinate with campaigns, are expected to spend millions of additional dollars and play an outsized role in the race, Pat Christmas, chief policy officer for the nonprofit government watchdog group the Committee of Seventy, tells Axios.

  • Spending by super PACs has been on the rise in elections at all levels in recent years, Christmas said.

What they’re saying: Christmas warned that it’s still early in the mayoral race and a lot can change before the primary.

  • “We’ll see at some point more of a divergence between candidates that are raising a lot of money and are at the top of the pack and those that are falling behind,” he said.

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