Primary Election Day Guide

Next week, Philadelphians will go to the polls to cast their votes in the 2023 Primary Election. While the mayoral race has received most of the attention (including a new Emerson poll that was released this morning), there are other important offices and issues on the ballot. 

Where To Vote

Philadelphia has made it easy to find your polling place. Simply click this link and put your address in the search box.

What’s On The Ballot?

The 2023 May Primary is certainly a transitional election in Philadelphia. Not only will we be electing a new mayor, but there will be significant turnover in City Council, including the eventual vote to name a new City Council President. There will also be numerous judges and city Row offices on the ballot. Before we break down each one, here’s how the ballot will look (we’ll include the ballot questions a little later in this article).

So who are these people, and what are these offices? Let’s start with the judicial offices.

To see Hall Monitor’s breakdown of the judicial offices, click here.


The race that has received by most attention by far-here’s Hall Monitor’s candidate interviews in which we focused on poverty alleviation in the city.

If you’re one of the 20% of the city electorate that is still undecided, here is each candidate’s website (in ballot position order). Hall Monitor could not find a website for Candidate Delscia Gray.

Cherelle Parker

Warren Bloom

James DeLeon

Amen Brown

Allan Domb

Rebecca Rhynhart

Jeff Brown

Helen Gym

City Commissioners

The City Commissioners handle election-related matters in the city. The Democratic Primary is uncontested, but the race in November could be interesting as one seat on the three-member board is reserved for a minority party. Currently, this seat is held by a Republican, but, with the insurgent Working Families Party fielding a candidate in the fall, we could see a very different composition to the board.

City Controller

The office that propelled Rebecca Rhynhart into a top-tier mayoral candidate is a three-way race for the Democratic nomination. Christy Brady, the candidate endorsed by the Philadelphia Democratic Committee, has worked in the office for 30 years. Challenger Alexandra Hunt ran in a recent primary against Congressman Dwight Evans. Candidate John Thomas does not appear to have a website.

Register of Wills

One of the more competitive races (outside of mayor and City Council), the Register of Wills race saw incumbent Tracey Gordon lose the Democratic City Committee endorsement to ward leader John Sabatina. However, Gordon does have support in some Philadelphia wards. Candidates Elizabeth Hall Lowe and Rae Hall are also in the race.


In another seemingly competitive race, Sheriff Rochelle Bilal has come under scrutiny for her office’s budget practices and trying to raise her own salary. Bilal faces a serious challenge from Michael Untermeyer. Endorsements in the race are scarce but seem evenly distributed between the two major candidates. Jackie Miles is also running for the office.

Council At Large

The largest field of candidates in this race, the candidates for council at large include three incumbents and many names familiar to those who follow Philadelphia politics and government. With such a large field, the best we can recommend is to take some time and review each candidate’s website. This allows you to see what each is proposing regarding the issues you care about most. Below are links to each website in ballot order.

District Council

There are three competitive district council races.

The Seventh District race features incumbent Councilmember Quetcy Lozada against challenger Andres Celin. Lozada was elected in the special election to replace Maria Quinones-Sanchez.

The Eighth District race may be the most competitive, with incumbent Cindy Bass facing a strong challenge from Seth Anderson-Oberman. Anderson-Oberman has the edge in endorsements, but Bass is a well-known incumbent.

In the Ninth District, incumbent Anthony Phillips, who won a special election to replace Cherelle Parker, faces two challengers in James Williams and Yvette Young. Having two challengers may work in Phillips’ favor, as they may split any oppositional vote he may face.

Ballot Questions

In this election, there will be four questions on the ballot. If the majority of Philadelphians vote “yes,” these questions become law.

So what do each of these questions propose to do?

Question No. 1. Budget Stabilization Reserve

Councilmember Katharine Gilmore Richardson proposed legislation changing the requirements for contributions to the city’s Budget Stabilization Fund, or rainy day fund. The ballot question proposes mandating the city contribution to the fund based on revenue collection. Currently, contributions to the fund are made based on administration recommendations and council approval. This legislation would require a certain percentage of revenue to be saved based on the size of the general fund in any given year.

Question No. 2

This change would create “the Division of Workforce Solutions within the Department of Commerce, to promote workforce development activity serving Philadelphians seeking jobs and training opportunities in the public or private sectors.” This office would provide information to Philadelphians job training and employment.

Question No. 3

This question exempts the Citizens Police Oversight Commission from the city’s Civil Service.

Question No. 4. Chief Public Safety Director

Perhaps the most controversial question on this election’s ballot, the position of Chief Public Safety Director would coordinate city safety policy across multiple agencies. The position would be a cabinet-level office in the administration, essentially charged with developing and maintaining working relationships with multiple city agencies, including the District Attorney’s Office and the Police Department.

Subscribe to Philadelphia Hall Monitor Newsletter

We watch city government so you don't have to.

Support The Hall Monitor.

Philadelphia Hall Monitor is the missing link that residents need to truly understand our city.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top