Council Candidates Line Up for a Share of Philadelphia 3.0 Dark Money

27 candidates, and a bevy of incumbents, are seeking the support of dark money non-profit Philadelphia 3.0

A screenshot from the newly-launched Philadelphia 3.0 website.

A screenshot from the newly-launched Philadelphia 3.0 website.

Here’s the thing about dark money in politics: a lot of candidates will tell you it’s a malevolent, undemocratic force—but that doesn’t mean they don’t want the money spent on them.

Case in point: 27 City Council candidates sought the endorsement of Philadelphia 3.0, the newly created dark money non-profit that seeks to “bring new voices into the city’s political conversation,” starting with City Council. There’s no word yet on which candidates Philadelphia 3.0 will select, or how much money they’ll spend on behalf of their chosen contenders.

But the candidate applications are in, and they are pretty fascinating. You can check them out here. For now, let’s focus on who’s for Philadelphia 3.0’s help.

The roster includes a surprisingly large cohort of incumbents. From relative newcomers like Ed Neilson and Kenyatta Johnson to 35-year Council ultra-veteran Brian O’Neill. Maybe O’Neill overlooked all the Philadelphia 3.0 rhetoric about “new voices” and “new civil servants” and about a city no longer “constrained by the status quo.” Might be he also overlooked the fact he’s running unopposed.

Anyway, there are a lot of challengers among the applicants too, including Paul Steinke and Isaiah Thomas, two candidates that other outlets have suggested might win the support of Philadelphia 3.0. The full list of candidates seeking the non-profit’s endorsement is below. Keep it handy as a reference in case any of the non-endorsed applicants end up complaining down the road about the evil influence of dark money.

City Council At-Large

  • Jenne Ayers (D)
  • Blondell Reynolds Brown (D) (incumbent)
  • Barbara Capozzi (D)
  • Allan Domb (D)
  • Wilson Goode Jr (D)
  • Derek Green (D)
  • Joe Guerra (D)
  • Helen Gym (D)
  • Ed Neilson (D) (incumbent)
  • Dennis O’Brien (R) (incumbent)
  • Frank Rizzo (D)
  • Paul Steinke (D)
  • Al Taubenberger (R)
  • Isaiah Thomas (D)
  • Dan Tinney (D)
  • Terry Tracy (R)
  • James Williams (R)
  • Matt Wolfe (R)
  • Tom Wyatt (D)

District Council Candidates

  • Ori Feibush (D)
  • Kenyatta Johnson (D) (incumbent)
  • Curtis Jones Jr. (D) (incumbent)
  • Archie Leycock (D) (Since booted from the ballot)
  • Brian O’Neill (R) (incumbent)
  • Maria Quinones Sanchez (D) incumbent
  • Kevin Strickland (R)