City Council on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Seth Bluestein as elections commissioner. Bluestein will fill the remaining term of former Commissioner Al Schmidt, the new president of the Committee of Seventy. To keep the seat, Bluestein will have to be elected next year.
Bluestein has spent the last 10 years serving Philadelphians in the Office of the City Commissioners, most recently as chief deputy for Schmidt. Bluestein earned a degree in political science and history from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Fels Institute of Government at Penn.
“Seth was absolutely the best choice for this position,” said City Commissioners’ Chairwoman Lisa Deeley. “Nobody else could have stepped into the role and made such a seamless transition as Seth. We are now ready to move on unabated to preparing for the midterm elections. I would like to thank Mayor Kenney and Council for the wisdom of their pick.”
Bluestein said, “I am honored and humbled by the support I’ve received from Mayor Kenney and City Council to serve as city commissioner. Throughout my 10 years serving the voters of Philadelphia, I have focused on improving the voter experience and ensuring our elections remain fair, secure and accessible. I look forward to continuing my service in this new capacity and working with my colleagues and staff to expand access to voter services and help oversee a successful 2022 election.”
Bluestein is a Republican. Deeley and Omar Sabir are the board’s two Democrats. The Working Families Party is already planning to topple Bluestein. Its candidate is expected to be SEIU official Jarrett Smith. ••