From Wall Street to City Hall: The Woman Who Shocked Philadelphia Politics

Rebecca Rhynhart ousted a three-term incumbent to become the city’s first female controller.
by Caroline Cournoyer | August 20, 2019 AT 4:00 AM

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People thought Rebecca Rhynhart was crazy when she decided to run for Philadelphia controller. At the time, the city never had a woman in the position. Rhynhart also did not have a traditional political background.

She worked on Wall Street for seven years before transitioning to city government, where she took on the roles of treasurer, budget director and chief administrative officer.

Despite doubts, Rhynhart shocked the political establishment by ousting a three-term incumbent to become the city’s first female controller in 2018.

Now, she’s shaking up the old-school political climate by auditing public spending and identifying ways to help taxpayers get the most for their money.

“If we can identify $10 million of wasted money and have that money be redirected to go towards helping people with the opioid crisis, or the trauma of gun violence, or repaving streets, then that matters,” says Rhynhart.

Hear more from Rhynhart on this episode of "In the Arena."

 

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