Rebecca Rhynhart (born September 29, 1974) is an American politician from Pennsylvania. A member of the Democratic Party, she served as the City Controller of Philadelphia from 2018 to 2022. Prior to running for City Controller, Rhynhart worked in Philadelphia city government as City Treasurer and Budget Director in the administration of Mayor Michael Nutter.[1] Prior to joining city government, Rhynhart worked in public financing at Fitch Ratings and then as a managing director for municipal derivatives at investment bank Bear Stearns, just prior to the financial collapse of 2008.[2][3]

Rebecca Rhynhart
City Controller of Philadelphia
In office
January 1, 2018 (2018-01-01) – October 25, 2022 (2022-10-25)
Preceded byAlan Butkovitz
Succeeded byChristy Brady (acting)
Personal details
Born (1974-09-29) September 29, 1974 (age 49)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseDavid McDuff
EducationMiddlebury College (BA)
Columbia University (MPA)

Education edit

Rhynhart grew up in Reform Jewish family[4] in Abington, Pennsylvania.[5] She has a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College and earned a graduate degree in Public Administration from Columbia University.[6]

Political career edit

Prior involvement in Philadelphia government edit

In 2008, Rhynhart became Philadelphia’s City Treasurer as part of Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration. She subsequently became Budget Director, playing a pivotal role in the city’s economic recovery from The Great Recession.[7][8]

Rhynhart also served as the Chief Administrative Officer in Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration.[9]

Philadelphia City Controller edit

Rhynhart is the first woman ever elected to the office of controller in the city of Philadelphia.[8] She won a primary challenge by 17 percentage points against three-time democratic incumbent Alan Butkovitz in the Spring of 2017. This was considered a significant upset victory as it was an off-year election and Butkovitz was backed by the Democratic Party.[10] Rhynhart went on to defeat Republican Mike Tomlinson in the November general election of that same year where she won over 80% of the vote.[11]

On October 18, 2022, Rhynhart's office released a review of Philadelphia Police Department spending and performance. The report detailed disparities in 911 response times, crime fighting strategy, staffing issues, community relations, and data collection and usage.[12] It was widely perceived as critical of the police department.[13][14][15] One week later, on October 25, 2022, Rhynhart resigned from her position as controller to run for mayor. She told The Philadelphia Inquirer that she waited to start her campaign until after the release of the report.[3]

2023 Philadelphia mayoral election edit

Rhynhart has announced her candidacy in the 2023 Philadelphia mayoral election. Her candidacy was endorsed by former mayors John Street and Michael Nutter.[16] She came in second in the primary election.[17]

References edit

  1. ^ "Nutter is the second former Philly mayor to back Rhynhart". WHYY. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  2. ^ Nogueras, Carlos. "Rebecca Rhynhart has seen it all in local government. Now, she's running to right it". Al Día News. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Griffin, Jessica (October 25, 2022). "Philly City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart resigns to launch a run for mayor". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  4. ^ Saffren, Jarrad (November 1, 2022). "Jewish Democrat Rebecca Rhynhart Announces Mayoral Campaign". Jewish Exponent.
  5. ^ Huber, Robert (November 3, 2019). "Rhynhart vs. Kenney: Inside the Most Contentious Relationship in City Hall". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  6. ^ "Rebecca Rhynhart and Steven Bright". The New York Times. September 19, 2008.
  7. ^ Lucey, Catherine (August 31, 2010). "Nutter Names Rebecca Rhynhart Budget Director". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  8. ^ a b "Rebecca Rhynhart". Office of the Controller.
  9. ^ "Leadership & Experience". Rebecca For Philly. Retrieved October 27, 2022.
  10. ^ McGrath, Tom (October 1, 2017). "We Want Answers: How Rebecca Rhynhart Pulled Off the Political Upset of the Year". Philadelphia. Archived from the original on January 24, 2022.
  11. ^ Otterbein, Holly (November 8, 2017). "Democrat Rebecca Rhynhart Easily Wins City Controller Election". Philadelphia. Archived from the original on October 17, 2021.
  12. ^ Levy, Jordan (October 18, 2022). "City audit: Understaffing and slower 911 response times for communities of color are major problems for Philly police". Billy Penn. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  13. ^ Orso, Anna (October 18, 2022). "Philly Police Dept. has inconsistent strategies, slow response times, and outdated systems, city controller says". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  14. ^ Holden, Joe (October 18, 2022). "City controller criticizes "inefficient, outdated" Philly PD". CBS Philadelphia. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  15. ^ Cole, Jeff (October 19, 2022). "Philadelphia Police FOP responds to city controller's audit, claims it maligns the department". FOX 29 Philadelphia. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  16. ^ "Nutter is the second former Philly mayor to back Rhynhart". WHYY. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  17. ^ Orso, Anna (May 24, 2023). "Why Rebecca Rhynhart's second-place campaign for Philly mayor still beat expectations". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 18, 2023.