Three openly LGBTQ candidates for office received endorsements from the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee this week: Rue Landau for City Council at-large, and Wade Albert and Chesley Lightsey for judge. The endorsements, which are voted on by City Committee’s policy committee and ensure that candidates appear on the election ballots of city ward leaders, are often seen as an important stepping stone to winning the Democratic primary. In 2019, all five endorsed candidates for Council at-large won election.
“It is an absolute honor to receive the consideration of the Democratic City Committee for endorsement,” Landau told PGN. “It is a true recognition of my career fighting for social justice and equity in the city, and a signal of their strong support for LGBTQ+ representation. Voters across the city are excited about our campaign to create a better Philadelphia that works for all of us and we’re going to smash the glass ceiling when we make history and send the first openly LGBTQ+ elected official to City Hall.”
Landau announced her run for Council last December. If elected, she would be the first openly LGBTQ+ city council member in Philadelphia history.
A graduate of Temple University School of Law, Landau began her legal career working for Community Legal Services, where she remained for 9 years. She then served as the executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) from 2008 to 2021. After departing the PCHR, Landau worked as the director of law and policy for the Philadelphia Bar Association as well as on the faculty at Temple University School of Law, her alma mater.
“As Chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee, I’m proud that our policy committee voted tonight to endorse a stellar member of the LGBT community, Rue Landau,” City Committee Chairman Bob Brady told PGN.
In addition to Landau, two LGBTQ candidates for judge, Wade Albert and Chesley Lightsey, also received endorsements. Both are running for seats on the Court of Common Pleas.
Lightsey, an Assistant District Attorney working in the Homicide Unit, has worked in the DA’s office for over 14 years. In addition she has served as Senior Director, Office of Career Services at Temple University School of Law.
“I am grateful that the Democratic Party has endorsed me for the Court of Common Pleas, recognizing our shared values of compassion, fairness, and justice,” Lightsey told PGN. “I look forward to meeting voters and sharing what makes my candidacy unique.”
Albert is an attorney at Stevens and Lee with a background in employment discrimination and civil rights law. In addition to his legal work, he has served as President of the Center City Residents Association as well as a member of the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club
“I would like to thank the Philadelphia Democratic Party’s Policy Committee and the City’s Democratic Ward Leaders for their support and confidence in my campaign for judge on the Court of Common Pleas,” Albert told PGN. “Over the years, I have provided pro bono legal work and served as an advocate for many communities in Philadelphia. I am deeply humbled to now have a diverse group of community leaders stand with me. As an attorney who practices discrimination law, and as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I fundamentally understand that bias has no place in the courtroom. When I am elected to the bench, I vow to treat all persons who come before me with dignity and respect, and to deliver justice fairly and impartially.”
The 2023 primary election in Philadelphia is May 16.