Philadelphia is a Democratic stronghold and has been since 1960. Before that, the city was largely led by Republican Party bosses, who were described in a similar way to how some describe the Democratic Party today. A 1947 article in Time magazine stated that “Republican mayors are a Philadelphia tradition, like leftovers and peppers.” Maria Jimenez, a longtime Republican who sits on the School Reform Commission, said she has found that Philadelphians equate a change in political affiliation with a change in religion. She recalled hosting an Urban League event during the 2000 presidential election cycle and acting as a substitute for George W.
Bush while someone else spoke on behalf of Al Gore. Afterward, a woman approached Jiménez and said, “I agree with everything you say, but I can't vote for a Republican.” David Thornburgh, of the Committee of Seventy, said the city should seriously consider holding an open primary that would make it easier for Independents to challenge Democrats. He believes that allowing independent competition in place of a heterosexual Republican could be a more “realistic” path. The Committee of Seventy was created in 1904 to combat corruption in Philadelphia, and played an important role in the adoption of public administration reforms and in the approval of the 1919 and 1951 Charters of Autonomy.
As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, Seventy does not support any candidate or represent any special interest. Republicans know that they can't turn Philadelphia into a bipartisan city with serious political competition in a short period of time.