In her quest to become Philadelphia’s first female mayor, former city controller Rebecca Rhynhart called upon someone for an endorsement who knows the job well – former two-term mayor John Street.
Rhynhart and Street announced the endorsement on Monday during an editorial meeting with The Philadelphia Tribune. A press conference is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday to make it official.
“He is providing expert advice from his experience on a daily basis to my campaign,” Rhynhart said. “Mayor Street is a huge asset to my campaign with the endorsement and then also, his time, energy, knowledge and constructive criticism.”
According to Street, her experience will serve her well as mayor.
“You get a sense of the requirements of the job,” Street said. “It has not gotten easier — it has gotten more complex. There is only one person I know who is a candidate for mayor, who worked in two distinct administrations, who was a city controller for five years. She has looked at the operations of every single department for half of a decade.”
“I am going to be in meetings. I’ll go to the wards,” Street said. “I will be helping with public policy. I am going to do whatever I can.”
Previously, Rhynhart, 48, worked in the private sector as a director in the public finance division of Fitch Ratings and a managing director at investment bank Bear Stearns on Wall Street. In 2008, she became city treasurer and also served as budget director and became the first woman to hold the position of City Controller in 2018.
A woman has not held the job of mayor in the city but four Democrats are in the running – Rhynhart, Helen Gym, Cherelle Parker and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez. There are five other announced male candidates as well.
There has been talk that another former Philly mayor – Michael Nutter – could endorse Rhynhart as well, putting two key players on her side.
“I think that voters in this city, particularly African Americans, will care what I think about all this,” Street said. “I’m going to tell them what I think. Here is my choice: (Rhynhart) here is a person who I think can rise to the occasion.”
With Democrats holding a 7-to-1 registration advantage in the city, it is likely that the party’s nominee will win in the general election on November 7.