The number of candidates for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Philadelphia dropped by one on Sunday.
Former City Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez pulled the plug on her campaign, saying that the large sums of money entering the race made it too difficult for her campaign to continue.
“I am sorry to be suspending my campaign. I ran for mayor because I’ve lived every challenge this city faces, and with my policy and legislative experience, I felt I could tackle our city’s challenges head-on,” Quiñones Sánchez wrote in a statement to the press.
“The obnoxious, obscene amount of money that is shaping the race just got away from us,” Quiñones Sánchez also said in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. “There was no way we were going to be able to compete with that money.”
With her base in the poorest Council district – the Kensington-based 7th Council District – and with no major unions in her corner, Quiñones Sánchez knew that fundraising was going to be difficult, and she got in the race early to give herself time to build a campaign war chest.
In the latest campaign finance filings, she reported having just over $321,000 cash in hand which ranked seventh among the Democratic candidates. Those six candidates combined to spend over $9.6 million in the previous three months – a total that the only Latino candidate in the race could not keep up with.
Quiñones Sánchez has backed the concept of public financing of elections in an attempt to level the playing field between those candidates with major financial backing and those without it. Presently, the city limits donations to campaigns at $6,200 a year for individuals and $25,200 a year for political action committees.
Those figures were established prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision that allows outside spending groups or super PACs to spend unlimited funds on political races.
“The contribution limits make it harder for candidates like me,” Quiñones Sánchez said. “Nobody can do it without a super PAC anymore, which was not the intent of campaign [contribution limits].”
She does plan to endorse one of the remaining candidates but wants to hear their positions on her Agenda Latina platform – proposals to address Latino representation, language access, housing equity, commerce department & small business, poverty, education, and public safety.