Sep 7, 2023 - News

Jabari Jones re-enters West Philadelphia City Council race

The Board of Elections office in City Hall.

The collection of campaign buttons at the Board of Elections office in City Hall. Photo: Mike D'Onofrio/Axios

A Democrat-turned-third-party candidate is seeking to unseat a West Philadelphia City Council incumbent in November's election.

Why it matters: The winner will take on several challenges facing District 3, which stretches from University City to Cobbs Creek, including gun violence, gentrification and a lack of affordable housing.

State of play: Jabari Jones on the West is Best party is challenging Democrat Jamie Gauthier in District 3 on November 7.

  • That's when all 17-members of City Council are up for election, along with the mayor, city commissioners and sheriff.

Flashback: Jones withdrew from the Democratic primary for District 3 earlier this year amid legal challenges to his candidacy.

The latest: He filed new nomination papers as a third party and recently survived another legal challenge to get on the ballot, Nick Custodio, a spokesperson for the City Commissioners, tells Axios.

Of note: The only other competitive district City Council race is in District 10, where long-time incumbent Republican Brian O'Neill faces Democratic challenger Gary Masino.

Zoom in: Gauthier is a progressive who has championed affordable housing issues, among others, during her first term in office.

  • She's running on pledges to address gun violence, community-focused affordable housing policies, and to increase investment in city services, Kai Mateo, Gauthier's campaign manager, tells Axios.
  • She's has racked up several endorsements, including the Philadelphia teachers union, AFSCME District Council 33, and the progressive Working Families Party.

Meanwhile, Jones is president of the small business coalition West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative.

  • He tells Axios he's running on plans to crack down on violent crime and to support school choice, where parents can use public dollars to send their kids to private schools.

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