Unions, Law and Real Estate largest donors to Philly politics

Allan Domb was by far the largest individual donor to incumbent city council campaigns from 2014 to 2018.

Allan Domb was by far the largest individual donor to incumbent city council campaigns from 2014 to 2018.

You can use the tools below to explore donation trends to Philly politicians by sector. Real estate and labor unions have dominated campaign contributions for the last five years. Real estate donations peaked in 2015--mostly because “condo king” Allan Domb donated about $1 million to his own campaign. As Philly.com recently noted, Domb could reshape this year’s primary if he decides to trigger the “millionaire’s provision” once again. According to the “millionaire’s provision,” when a candidate invests $250,000 or more of their own personal money in a campaign, contribution limits for all candidates double from $3,000 to $6,000 for individuals and $11,900 to $23,800 for political action committees. Domb triggered the provision in 2015.

All sector donations were at their highest in 2015 (the last primary year), suggesting that in 2019 we’ll see city hall’s biggest donors open their wallets yet again. Will real estate dominate? Will labor unions? And will other special interest groups—including organizations advocating for charter schools and an end to the soda tax—spend big to curry favor with Philly’s politicians? Philly Power Research will be paying close attention when information on 2019 donations is made public in April! Keep your eyes on www.whorunsphilly.com for updates.

Note: the charts above are only including data for incumbents and 2019 challengers. Candidates who ran in 2015 but lost and are not running again this year are not included. You can find more details about our methodology here.


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