New Ads in Philly Mayoral Race Feature Major Endorsements and Attacks

New ads from candidates in Philadelphia’s mayoral race feature big endorsements from former mayors as well as a major attack.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Philadelphia’s mayoral race is bringing two former mayors together in an ad promoting candidate Rebecca Rhynhart. 

“We don’t always agree,” former Mayor Michael Nutter says in the video, sitting next to his predecessor, former Mayor John Street. 

Street follows with “but we agree vociferously” before Nutter says Rhynhart is the “only one ready to be Mayor on day 1.”

The former mayors are backing Rhynhart, a former city controller who is among 12 candidates running to be the city’s 100th mayor. 

The commercial - which Rhynhart’s campaign says will play on broadcast, digital and cable platforms across the city - makes Rhynhart the fourth candidate to launch TV commercials in the Democratic primary race. 

As the airwaves get more crowded, the race is also entering a new phase with the first negative campaign ad criticizing a candidate by name. 

A new TV ad in the mayoral race accuses candidate Jeff Brown of being “not who he says he is.”  

The ad, funded by candidate Allan Domb’s campaign, includes references to reports about the use of video of former First Lady Michelle Obama in pro-Brown ads and her office saying she is not supporting him.

The new anti-Brown ad also promotes a website which is paid for by the Domb campaign. Brown’s campaign responded to the attacks by saying Brown “is clearly the front runner and you can see why.” 

“The political hacks have no accomplishments to speak of and are largely responsible for our city’s violent crime epidemic. They are doing what political hacks do, run negative campaigns, because they have nothing to say,” said Brown campaign spokesperson Kyle Anderson. 

Anderson said Brown’s focus “will continue to be on sharing his vision of change. We’ll let Philadelphians decide who to believe.”

Though not mentioning opponents by name, an ad by Brown’s campaign shows video of some of his opponents who served on council as he criticized them for conducting the city’s business on Zoom, saying “they were nowhere to be found.” Brown did not mention any of them by name however. 

Both Brown and Domb have aired commercials that criticize current Mayor Jim Kenney, Brown saying the mayor “tapped out” and Domb playing video of Kenney saying he was looking forward to not being mayor and Domb responding “enough of that!”

Cherelle Parker is also airing TV commercials. Parker, who like Domb is a former city Councilmember, recently started running ads focused on her life growing up in Philadelphia and her work on council. 

Rhynhart’s ad featuring two politicians joining forces to back another candidate isn’t the first time the tactic has been used in Philadelphia. In 2016, Mayor Kenney and Pennsylvania Sen. Anthony Williams - who ran against each other for mayor - appeared in a commercial together to support Democrat Stephen Zappala for attorney general. Zappala ultimately lost the attorney general’s race to Josh Shapiro who is currently Pennsylvania’s governor. 

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