In Philadelphia’s “row office” elections, including city commissioners, city controller, register of wills, and sheriff, the Democrats maintained their stronghold with expected wins. The outcomes were largely determined in the lead-up to the general election, with Republicans successfully fending off third-party challenges for a city commissioner seat. The results of these races came after an incumbent was unseated in the Democratic primary for register of wills in May, and an incumbent sheriff faced controversies during the primary.
Incumbent city commissioners Lisa Deeley and Omar Sabir, both Democrats, secured reelection, alongside Republican Seth Bluestein. Bluestein, appointed in 2022 to replace Al Schmidt, who now serves as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State, sought his first full term. Despite a challenge from Jarrett Smith of the Working Families Party, who was later removed from the ballot for incorrect financial interest statement filing, the Democrat-Republican majority remained intact.
The city controller’s office, usually slated for the 2025 election, was on this year’s ballot due to the resignation of two-term incumbent Rebecca Rhynhart in 2022. Christy Brady, the acting controller, secured the position after winning the Democratic primary against two opponents. In the general election, she defeated Republican Aaron Bashir, continuing the role of independent auditor for city agencies, including the School District of Philadelphia.
Register of Wills:
John Sabatina, a Democratic ward leader, triumphed over Republican Linwood Holland, taking on the responsibility of receiving wills for probate, maintaining estate records, collecting inheritance taxes, and issuing marriage licenses.
Incumbent Rochelle Bilal, who unseated former Sheriff Jewell Williams in the 2019 primary, secured a second four-year term by defeating Republican Mark Lavelle. Despite controversies during her tenure, Bilal emphasized her community outreach efforts in her campaign.
The Democrats emerged victorious in these crucial row office races, maintaining their roles in overseeing key aspects of the city’s administration.