By Denise Clay-Murray
Former City Councilmember Derek Green made the decision to resign from City Council and put his hat in the ring for mayor of Philadelphia at the same time his former colleague, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, did.
Last week, Green joined Quiñones-Sánchez in suspending his campaign for the Democratic nomination for mayor.
In an interview with the WPPM-FM radio program Philadelphia Hall Monitor, Green talked about his time on the campaign trail, the decision to step away, and the importance of keeping his options open.
Like Quiñones-Sánchez, Green was a proponent of public campaign financing during his tenure on Council. And like his former colleague, he saw the impact that money was going to have on the race up close.
The number of undecided voters actually went up when Quiñones-Sánchez left the race, Green said. Unfortunately, he didn’t think he had the money to get those undecided voters to consider him as their choice.
“When I had a chance to really think through the next steps of this race, and looking at my poll numbers… I had a commercial that I thought would move the needle,” he said. “But the amount of money and resources it just takes now to be able to run, you either have to be independently wealthy, or have a SuperPAC.”
“As someone who has campaigned for ethics reform, done a lot of work in the space of campaign finance reform, as well as advocated for public funds for campaigns, and after talking with my team, it was just such an exorbitant amount of money,” Green added. “This made it very challenging.”
Another thing that made it challenging was the number of elected officials who decided to throw their hats into the ring this time around, Green said. While every race has had someone among Philadelphia’s elected officials participating, the number of elected officials in this year’s race is unique.
“You had four current elected officials who have been elected citywide,” he said. “So, I think that also created a very unique perspective in this race. I don’t think everyone thought everyone would run. But when they saw the lack of leadership that was happening here locally, I think that also motivated a number of people, myself, included.”
As for what’s next for him, Green is willing to talk with his former opponents on the campaign trail. While not all of them have aligned with him in terms of his opinions on such things as public safety and education, he’s willing to listen.
“At this point, I am now no longer a member City Council or a candidate for mayor,” he said. “So, I’m a citizen, just like all the other citizens in the City of Philadelphia who are undecided on where we should place our vote for the 100th mayor of the City of Philadelphia. Some would say I’m a citizen at large. And citizen is the most important thing that we can be in our democracy.”
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