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How tech savvy are Philly’s 2015 mayoral hopefuls? We did some Googling

As more mayoral candidates enter the ring, we're conducting brief “background techs” (“checks,” get it?) on each contender.

Editor's note: Some candidates are dropping out of the race, others are entering it. This post will be continually updated to reflect the current field of mayoral contenders.

Between Mayor Nutter’s StartUp PHL initiative and the strides his administration has made in the open data arena, it’s clear that our current mayor has done much to champion tech in his two terms in office.

But what about Philly’s 2015 mayoral candidates? Where do they stand on these issues and more?

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 election, we’ll pose these questions to the candidates themselves.

But for now we’ve set out to find what each candidate has said publicly about tech — gauging, along the way, their relative comfort with the digital realm.

Here’s what we found.


LYNNE ABRAHAM (5 tweets and counting)

Online find: Lynne does not like the Flyers.


ANTHONY HARDY WILLIAMS (4,570 tweets and counting)

Online find: Hangin’ with Nick Cannon.

Update: 12/11/14, 10:41 a.m.:


TERRY GILLEN (1,330 tweets and counting) (Update: Terry Gillen withdrew from the race Jan. 2.)

Online find: Get it straight, Jimmy Fallon.


KEN TRUJILLO (190 tweets and counting) (Update: Ken Trujillo withdrew from the race Jan. 21.)

Online find: #TBT time!

Ken Trujillo as a kid. (Via Facebook)

Ken Trujillo as a kid. (Via Facebook)


*Potential candidates*

JIM KENNEY (5,180 tweets and counting) (Update: Kenney officially entered the race Jan. 27.)

  • Councilman Kenney is on the Committee on Technology and Information Services. During his last run for at-large council seat, the councilman vowed to “continue to advocate for further improvements in technology that improves work flow and helps realize increased efficiencies, greater accountability from departments, fiscally prudent decisions, and quality constituent services.”
  • Still, as of 2011, releasing city data was “maybe a five” on a scale of 10 in Kenney’s priorities.
  • Kenney introduced Jump Start Philly, one of two tax reform bills exempting new startups from paying the Business Income and Receipts Tax during their first two years in business.
  • On the other hand, Kenney was critical of Nutter’s trips to Britain and Israel to rally for the expansion of foreign businesses into Philadelphia. The councilman argued that partnerships with low-skill industries in Lancaster and the Lehigh Valley would better suit the city’s workforce than high-tech jobs with foreign firms would.
  • Kenney (probably) wants to legalize ridesharing.

Online find: Haver of night moves.


DARRELL L. CLARKE (4,800 tweets and counting) (Update: Darrell Clarke is not running for mayor.)

  • While Abraham and Williams didn’t have campaign sites until after launching their campaigns, Council President Clarke launched in August of 2013. Also, for what it’s worth, City Council didn’t have WiFi until Clarke became Council prez.
  • Just recently, Clarke introduced the Philadelphia Community Sustainability Initiative, which uses data to create an interactive map allowing city planners to identify neighborhoods in need.
  • Additionally, Clarke sponsors the Restart Philadelphia conference, which provides access to “valuable job readiness and business development for job seekers and aspiring entrepreneurs.”
  • Still, Clarke’s idea of an “entrepreneur” might be more to the tune of people who set up sidewalk flea markets.
  • Along with Council members Kenney and Mark Squilla, Clarke sponsored the resolution to officially make N. 3rd Street (between Market & Girard) N3rd Street, considering the 70+ tech startups located on that stretch.
  • Like Trujillo, Clarke is also a proponent of “smart” policing. On June 23, 2014, Clarke tweeted, “#PHL needs more crime-fighting tech to discourage these cowardly attacks on women.”

Online find: Dance moves for days.

Darrell Clarke. (Via

Darrell Clarke. (Via

Update: 12/11/14, 10:43 a.m.:


FRANK RIZZO, JR. (0 tweets and counting) (Update: Rizzo is instead running for a seat on City Council.)

  • We got nothin’. (Except this.)

Online findThen-timely political jokes.

Companies: City of Philadelphia

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