Rebecca Rhynhart: Unanswered questions

Well, this is not how I wanted my interview with Rebecca Rhynhart to go.

Along with other candidates, I contacted her more than a month ago to sit down for an interview.

Rebecca Rhynhart: Missing in action (Photo: NBC10)

She agreed and turned it over to staff to arrange.

Many weeks passed, I pushed a little and they agreed to an interview on Monday, May 1, but canceled the night before, promising to reschedule.

I told her communications person the interview kind of had to be done before the primary. It didn’t happen. Snub? Sloppy staff work?

I don’t know and I’m out of time.

Since I can’t ask Rebecca the questions face to face, I’ll do it here. You can listen in to the Qs without the As.

For openers, if you weren’t running for mayor, who would you vote for?

Yes, yes, I know it is a hypothetical, but so are all of your plans for governing, for fiscal sanity, for public safety, and so on.

Leaders must be brave. Please answer the question.

On more than one occasion, you have mentioned “‘built-in racism’ in the city system.”

Where is the “built-in racism” in the system and how do we get rid of it?

You have been endorsed by mayors Michael Nutter, John Street, and Ed Rendell. Do you hold them accountable for not getting rid of the “built-in racism?”

You said stop and frisk is unnecessary and racist. Michael Nutter employed it. Is he racist?

You said sending Philly’s trash to Chester is environmental racism. Where would you send Philly’s trash? 

Chester’s City Council authorized the trash plant. Is Chester’s City Council racist?

Do you have pets? If so, what kind?

Where does your daughter, Julia, go to school?

Do you support charter schools? Why? 

You are thought to split the reformer/progressive vote with Helen Gym, while Allan Domb and Jeff Brown split the moderate white man vote. What is your path to victory?

While several candidates are bunched at the top, according to polls, most put you in first place. How does that make you feel? Confident? Nervous?

Your 2022 study of the police department found serious deficiencies. Why would you not replace Commissioner Danielle Outlaw?

Does D.A. Larry Krasner hurt public safety?

What is your gun plan, in 25 words or less?

Leaders have to make decisions, but you have dodged taking a position on so-called safe injection sites and the proposal by the Sixers to relocate to Chinatown. The election is less than a week away. Yes or no?

What do you do to relax, when you are not running for mayor?

Given what has happened in New York, Washington, and Chicago, would you retain Philadelphia’s status as a Sanctuary City, and, if yes, if Texas sent 5,000 migrants here, where would you find the money to  support them?

Have you had a life-changing experience, not counting this interview?


This is the last in a series. Cherelle Parker did not respond to invitations to be interviewed; Amen Brown agreed but never chose a date. Interviews with other candidates can be found on

14 thoughts on “Rebecca Rhynhart: Unanswered questions”

  1. Well, good questions, all. But the answers all seem to be a little lacking. 🙂

  2. Great questions! I amused myself by making up answers for her. For example: Question: “What is your gun plan in 25 words or less?” A: “Guns are racist. I will solve the issue of racism, which will solve the gun problem.”

  3. Since she references her public-school-attending daughter in most of her campaigning, I too wonder where Julia goes. No, I’m not voting for Rebecca.

  4. Rhinehart is a sensible progressive or a progressive light .
    My first choice is allan domb but at a consistent 13 to 14 % in fhe polls a vote for him is basically a vote for gym.
    It may well be the best we can hope for is voting for Rhinehart and just breath a sigh of relief that gym didn’t win as opposed to being really happy and expecting big things from Rhinehart. Im still tempted to support Parker as she seems very motivated to crack heads of the drug dealers in Kensington, n philly and Germantown because she is more in touch with the reality of what its like to live in these neighborhoods. But if she loses and gym wins then philly becomes seattle and portland and s.f . Its a very tough decision as far as Rhinehart v Parker goes

  5. I don’t understand the “BALLS” that canidates have these days. When I lived in Mayfair back in the 70’s thru 2000’s we often had candidates nights, and had good showings. Even Bad Press was good Press. Local papers were there, along with major news outlets. Is it that these canidates are so full of them selves that they think they have this sewn up and in the bag? Or is it they have just thown in the towel? A respectable journalist asks and schedules an interview , and is ignored? Totaly unacceptable ! If a canidate cannot answer the questions of the people, before an election. Resign. You are worthless. You have no right running for such an important office. Do canidates think that 4 or 5 people read this column? WRONG! Many do not respond, just as many read op ed’s in newspapers in days gone by. But they were influinced by them, and they will be infuinced by this extreme arrogance show by no response.

  6. I am curious. Was this the list of questions you prepared to ask regardless if she accepted your invitation for an interview? Did you provide these questions to her staff in advance?

    1. Professional journalists do not reveal questions in advance and those were the prepared questions I was going to ask. Other questions may come up in the course of an interview.

      1. Rhynhart is reading this — or one of her flunkies — and thinking, Whew, dodged that one! If she has the endorsements of three ex-mayors who didn’t exactly lead Philly to a better place during their terms, that slurping sound you hear is the city finally going down the porcelain throne.

        Be that as it may, nicely crafted piece, Mr. Bykofsky. Great end-run to the candidate’s snub. Got a good chuckle with the final query. That smug look on Rhynhart in the accompanying MIA photograph suggests she’s never had a life-changing experience, as she’s always had all the answers. Just ask her. Oh, that’s right, you tried …

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