By Joshua Albert
The list of potential candidates for Mayor in 2015 is long and includes quite a few high profile movers and shakers – but only two people have formally announced their run, and they are long time Philadelphia political players Terry Gillen and Former City Solicitor Ken Trujillo.
Neither candidate is a stranger around the Mayor’s office, and both have served in high ranking positions in multiple administrations.
From 1992 to 1998, Gillen was Senior Vice President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), which is the City’s economic development implementation agency. Gillen then served as Nutter’s 2007 campaign political director. Following the successful campaign she was the Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Philadelphia from 2008 to 2011. While in that position she helped to establish the Philadelphia Foreclosure Prevention Program. She resigned from the administration in January of this year after serving as the city’s first Director of Federal Affairs, to work on economic development policy for two nonprofit organizations. Unlike Trujillo, this isn’t Gillen’s first campaign for an elected position. Gillen ran for a City Council seat back in 1999 and for the state House of Representatives in 2004, she lost both elections.
If Gillen is elected Mayor she would be the first female Mayor of Philadelphia.
Trujillo, who has never run for political office, was Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1990. As a federal prosecutor, he prosecuted labor corruption, Philadelphia’s largest heroin gang, and the biggest bank robbery ring in city history, before founding the private firm Trujillo Rodriguez & Richards in 1997. Trujillo was in charge of the city law department under Mayor John Street, he served on both the state Gaming Control Board and the state board overseeing Philadelphia’s finances (PICA). He was also the city solicitor from January 2000 – December 2001.
Trujillo has brought on several powerhouse political players for his campaign which include:
- Jane Slausser, who worked on President Obama’s re-election campaign here in Philadelphia. She will be his political director.
- Vaughn Ross, his finance director, who worked on the finance teams of Rob McCord and Senator Bob Casey.
- Bill Hyers and Jessie Bradley from Hilltop Public Solutions were hired as consultants. Both worked to help elect NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, and for Mayor Michael Nutter’s campaign in 2007. Gillen was also a part of that team.
Trujillo will be making his formal announcement Wednesday in front of Philadelphia School District head quarters.
The elections won’t be until November. However, Philadelphia has not had a Republican mayor since 1952 when Bernard Samuel was in office. Whoever wins the Primary in May of next year will more than likely be Philadelphia’s next Mayor.