Republican David Oh Enters Race to Be Philadelphia's Next Mayor

David Oh resigned his seat on Philadelphia City Council to make a run to be Philadelphia's next mayor

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Republican David Oh announced Monday that he’s resigning his seat on Philadelphia City Council to launch a campaign to be the city’s mayor.

The former councilmember -- who spent 11 years on City Council -- gathered a group of supporters from a variety of the city’s ethnic and religious communities who filled an auditorium at the National Constitution Center in Old City. 

“We’re gonna vote for the city you want,” he told the crowd, taking the stage to speak after a string of endorsements and testimonials about his work from those in the audience or who sent regards, including former Gov. Tom Ridge. 

Oh said he’d address kitchen table issues including schools and property taxes.  

“We’re going to protect people that’s fundamental, clean safe places, the humanity in enforcing the law is greater than the misery caused by allowing all this crime to occur,” Oh said. 

Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city nearly seven to one, and Oh acknowledged that “it’s the Democrats that really are the deciding factor in our city.” But, Oh pointed out turnout numbers that show a large number of city voters not participating in elections, and talked about reaching out to voters politicians have not courted.

He also revealed a strategy to embrace mail-in ballots, an option for Pennsylvania voters that former President Donald Trump has criticized, while Democrats have promoted it as a safe and convenient alternative to in-person voting. 

“We’re gonna do mail-in ballots and we’re gonna do it in your language,” Oh told the audience. And we’re gonna make sure that everybody from veterans to persons who are citizens, but have never been to a -- comfortable enough to go to a polling place -- that you get a mail-in ballot and we’re gonna vote.”

Oh said he would resign from council as of Monday, the sixth Philadelphia city councilmember to leave office to run for mayor, as prescribed by a city charter rule known as “resign to run.”

Oh, who was in his third term, addressed the decision not to run for another council term saying: “I don’t think that in one more additional term I could do enough to justify running,” and saying as mayor he could address the things he was unable to do as a council member. 

Oh made his announcement the day after the Eagles lost in the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs, on a day when Philadelphia schools opened on a delay

He gave some insight into how he’d handle a morning after the game as mayor. 

“I love the Eagles -- we will never start school late two hours because of an Eagles game,” saying education is too important. “I don’t care the Super Bowl or not.” 

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