Bluestein to replace Al Schmidt who announced he would resign after ten years with the City’s Board of Elections


PHILADELPHIA — Today, Mayor Kenney nominated Seth Bluestein to become the City Commissioner, replacing Al Schmidt who announced his intent to resign on January 2, 2022 after serving ten years in the position. This nomination is subject to approval by City Council. 

Mr. Bluestein has been with the Office of the City Commissioners for nearly ten years, most recently serving as Chief Deputy Commissioner for City Commissioner Al Schmidt—one of three members of the Board of Elections in charge of election operations and voter registration for the City of Philadelphia. Bluestein will serve alongside fellow City Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Deeley and Commissioner Omar Sabir. He joined the Office of the City Commissioners as Deputy Commissioner in 2012 before being promoted to Chief Deputy Commissioner in 2017. In January 2018, Seth was also appointed Chief Integrity Officer for the Office of the City Commissioners.

“Due to their critical role leading election administration and voter registration for the City of Philadelphia, the Office of the City Commissioners is integral to our democratic process. That’s why it’s crucial that the person taking on this role in this challenging national environment has the experience and integrity to stand up for all Philadelphians—no matter which party or candidates they vote for,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “During the incredibly challenging 2020 General Election, Seth’s work was critical to ensuring a fair and accurate election, and he and Commissioner Schmidt have withstood countless personal attacks because of their commitment to fairness and telling the truth about the election. I’m confident that Seth will continue to demonstrate the character, experience, and expertise needed to help effectively and efficiently administer Philadelphia’s elections. I also want to thank Commissioner Schmidt for his leadership and commitment to our great city during the last ten years.”

During his tenure, Bluestein has worked to develop and implement innovative policies and programs to ensure the City’s election operations are managed effectively and efficiently. He has overseen election integrity investigations and quality control audits for the Department. An advocate for transparency, Bluestein worked to transform the Department’s website, communications, and open data initiatives.

“I’m grateful to Mayor Kenney for the trust he’s placed in me. I look forward to continuing to serve Philadelphia, working alongside Chairwoman Deeley and Commissioner Sabir, to ensure Philadelphia’s elections remain free, fair, and secure,” said Seth Bluestein.

“The job of commissioner is not about left vs. right; it is about competence and commitment to democracy. As we go into the contentious midterm elections next year, it is important to have someone, like Seth, who knows and appreciates the work and does not have to learn on the job,” said City Commissioners’ Chairwoman, Lisa Deeley. “As important, Seth comes with the same integrity that Al Schmidt displayed during his ten years in office. Seth has been an integral part of the day-to-day operations of making elections happen for the last ten years and I applaud Mayor Kenney for selecting the most qualified candidate for the job.” 

A lifelong Philadelphian, Bluestein earned a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

A headshot of Bluestein is available for download online.