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Allan Domb
Allan Domb, the business mogul turned politician vies for a mayoral seat. Photo by Carlos Nogueras / AL DÍA News

Allan Domb makes it official, kicks off mayoral campaign

Domb held a short presser before heading into Mural Arts for his first official campaigning event.

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A long period of uncertainty surrounding Allan Domb’s next political step comes to a close, as the “Condo King” announced this week he is officially joining Philadelphia’s race for Mayor in a video released Tuesday, Nov. 5, followed by a campaign event. 

Domb, 67, is known for his reputation as a real-estate mogul with several properties in the Center City area and served as an at-large city councilman for seven years prior to entering the race. 

He joins an increasingly competitive field of candidates who also resigned from city council, and threw their hats in the ring – including Cherelle Parker, Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, and Derek Green.

To follow up his video release, Domb held an in-person presser outside of Mural Arts Philadelphia, where he planned to kick off a long week of campaigning in several corners of the city. 

Last-minute changes forced the campaign to hold the event on the sidewalk due to “the sensitive nature of the Mural Arts participants,” a campaign spokesperson told AL DÍA. 

Domb’s announcement follows a months-long period of teasing as to whether his resignation as city councilman in August was conjoined to an incoming mayoral race, though he never confirmed this directly. 

In mid-October — during a walking tour of Kensington — Domb told AL DÍA he felt compelled to run, citing leadership failures after having walked the Kensington-Allegheny intersection in North Philadelphia. 

During this week’s release, the former councilman spoke at length about similar themes and said that Philadelphia’s biggest crisis “is a lack of leadership for our city.”

“It’s not about rhetoric. It’s about solving real problems,” Domb said. 

Throughout his pre-campaign excursion, Domb made the city’s crisis the centerpiece of his messaging and, like other mayoral hopefuls, said that Philadelphia needs decisive leadership to curb it. 

“We need to solve the crime issue, and we need people to dig in,” he said in the presser and added he would onboard external consultants who’ve worked on crime, though details were forthcoming, according to Domb. 

But the challenge ahead for Domb is establishing a solid legislative record, coupled with the political savvy to navigate the city’s complex topics. 

First among them was María Quiñones-Sánchez, who resigned in September, shortly after having launched a website that strongly mimicked a digital campaign platform, though her office denied it at the time. 

“I am a child of Philadelphia’s public housing, a lifelong activist, and Philadelphia’s first Latina district Councilwoman,” her announcement email read. 

Quiñones-Sánchez campaign launch is a continuation of 14 years in city council representing District 7, the Kensington area. 

And second on the roster is Cherelle Parker, the “no trust fund” candidate and “get it done Democrat” who pledged to reach into every tool at the government’s disposal to address Philadelphia’s whole of issues. 

Like Domb, Parker has cited the need for strong leadership, “and that leadership has to be willing to make the tough decisions that will be necessary to move Philadelphia forward,” Parker said. 

Responding to whether he thinks his mogul status may alienate him from voters, Domb said ”he’s used to struggling. I really came from nothing.” 

Born in New Jersey, Domb began his career as a manager for a locksmithing business. Seeing no path forward in that field, Domb shifted to real estate, taking a broker’s course and building a self-made portfolio. 

At 33 years old, Domb was named the top-selling residential salesperson by the National Association of Realtors and had built a reputation as a tireless and ruthless broker who spent 12-14 hour days on his craft, according to the Inquirer. 

But Domb believes his combined sense of business acumen and political experience is a transferable skillset. 

“I’ve been in the business for almost 45 years, and I’ve been in the public sector world almost seven years. I think the combination of both allows me to bring people together,” said Domb. 

But his accumulated investments over those 45 years could also be brought into question, as it remains unclear how Domb’s camp plans to ensure that Domb doesn’t benefit financially and directly should he be elected. 

“We’ve already engaged a very strong ethics person nationwide who’s gonna come up with the best ethical program for us to separate myself from any investments I have, and that’ll be forthcoming soon,” Domb said. 

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