Philly mayor’s race shrinks to three candidates as Gillen calls it quits

 Former Philadelphia mayoral candidate Terry Gillen. (Nathaniel Hamilton/NewsWorks)

Former Philadelphia mayoral candidate Terry Gillen. (Nathaniel Hamilton/NewsWorks)

And then there were three.

Signaling that she wouldn’t garner the resources to fund a competitive campaign, Terry Gillen has bowed out of the race to become Philadelphia’s next mayor.

Gillen, a former adviser to Mayors Michael Nutter and Ed Rendell and former executive director of the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia, said the $225,000 she raised from more than 500 donors in 2014 wouldn’t cut it.

“It just was the realistic decision to make in light of the atmosphere we’re in,” Gillen said Friday. “It didn’t make sense to ask our supporters to keep donating and to keep volunteering if we didn’t see a clear path to victory.”

Gillen couldn’t say exactly how much money she felt it would take to win the mayor’s race, but indicated it would take well over $1 million.

“Television is expensive in Philadelphia, and radio is expensive,” she said.

Her decision was made over the last few days after reflecting on the Dec. 31 fundraising reporting deadline.

Gillen, who described her campaign as “positive, grass roots and idea driven,”  announced her candidacy Sept. 6, the first of the pack to do so.

Follow this link to hear Gillen discuss her candidacy with WHYY’s Dave Davies.

The remaining Democratic candidates are state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, former city District Attorney Lynne Abraham and former city solicitor Ken Trujillo.

The field of candidates is expected to grow in the coming weeks. Former Common Pleas Court Judge and city solicitor Nelson Diaz says he’ll announce he’s running in mid-January.

The possibility of City Council President Darrell Clarke taking a shot at the executive office has roused the interest of onlookers, but he hasn’t indicated anything definitive.

Gillen couldn’t yet name a favored candidate, nor detail her upcoming career plans. She hopes voters use this year’s election to advance public school equity and ethics in government.

“I won’t be a candidate,” she said, “but I’ll still be focusing on those issues.”

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