2023’s Mayoral Candidates: What Comes Next?

The not-mayors tell us about their future employment prospects

former philly mayoral candidates

Former mayoral candidates from left: Rebecca Rhynhart, Derek Green, Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, Amen Brown, Helen Gym, Jeff Brown / Photographs by Kate Conway; Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell Hippel, LLP; Tony Rocco; Raw but Meaningful LLC; City Council staff; Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority

They ran for mayor — and they lost. Most places, that might mean going back to your old gig. Not so in Philly, with its resign-to-run rules for city officials. Here, the not-mayors tell us about their future employment prospects.

Rebecca Rhynhart

Rebecca Rhynhart

Former mayoral candidate Rebecca Rhynhart / Photograph via Getty Images

She may no longer be City Controller, but it should serve as some comfort that a new, high-profile position at Drexel comes with not one, not two, but three titles: senior vice president for finance, chief financial officer, and deputy treasurer. Plus, Governor Josh Shapiro (#1) appointed her to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Derek Green

Former mayoral candidate Derek Green / Photograph by Jared Piper/PHLCouncil

In addition to his Council-era side gig as of-counsel at a law firm, Green is now working at government-relations firm Bellevue Strategies. He’s also planning a City Council roundtable this fall to share some institutional wisdom with the body’s new members. But is that all? “I think there is a groundswell of support for him to run for district attorney,” says one political observer.

Helen Gym

helen gym, a candidate for mayor of philadelphia

Former mayoral candidate Helen Gym / Photograph via Getty Images

Gym gives little indication as to what her future might hold other than to say she’s been spending time with her family post-election. A City Hall insider speculates, “Could I see her in a Congressional run? Sure. But is she gonna take on Dwight Evans or Brendan Boyle or Mary Gay Scanlon? I don’t see that. I could see a national progressive organization picking her up, or I could see her in a leadership position with one of the progressive unions.”

Jeff Brown

jeff brown mayoral candidates

Former mayoral candidate Jeff Brown / Image courtesy PhillyCAM

After the public-image beating Brown took during the campaign, one might have expected him to retreat to the less-scrutinized aisles of ShopRite. But according to a source, Brown has been signaling that “he’s looking for something outside of the supermarkets.” Reached by text, Brown said, “I’m not yet in a position to comment.”

Maria Quiñones-Sánchez

Maria Quiñones Sánchez mayoral candidates

Former mayoral candidate Maria Quiñones Sánchez / Photograph by Jared Piper/PHLCouncil

Sánchez couldn’t quit Council for long: She’s back as the body’s director of strategic initiatives, working on school facilities and poverty reduction and reporting to Darrell Clarke, who will leave office at the end of the year. Sánchez says the gig is temporary. After that, she says, “I want to be as helpful as I possibly can to the next mayor,” though she maintains that doesn’t necessarily mean via a position in the administration.

Amen Brown

mayoral candidates

Former mayoral candidate Amen Brown / Photograph courtesy of the Governor’s Office

The other Brown is back in the state House, presumably toasting the fact there’s no resign-to-run rule for state officials. Salud!


Published as “Next Acts” in the November 2023 issue of Philadelphia magazine’s 150 Most Influential Philadelphians feature.