PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney cruised to victory in Tuesday’s primary election, easily defeating challengers State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams and former City Controller Alan Butkovitz.
Kenney swept the field garnering more than 66 percent of the vote in his bid for a second term in office. Kenney’s campaign rode on a wave of the achievements he says he made during his first term as Mayor. Those include providing access to free pre-K for thousands of low-income children and raising the minimum wage to $15/hr for all city employees and contractors.
Kenney declared victory late last night on twitter.
The incumbent will square off in November against Republican defense attorney Billy Ciancaglini who ran unopposed in Tuesday’s primary. Ciancaglini is running on a platform promising to lessen the tax burden, cut wasteful government spending, and address they city’s drug and crime problem. He also states that he is 100 percent against controversial “The Soda Tax” which has become one of the hallmarks of Mayor Kenney’s first term in office. The extra tax tacked onto sweetened beverages sold in Philadelphia fund free pre-K classes in the city, but Ciancaglini says the Tax is hurting Mom & Pop stores.
Kenney and Ciancaglini also don’t see eye to eye on other issues including sanctuary cities and safe injection sites.
It is important to note that an incumbent mayor in Philadelphia has ever lost a bid for a second term, and 1948 was the last time voters in the city elected a Republican mayor into office.
There were also other races of note in Tuesday’s primary. In the race for Philadelphia Sheriff, Rochelle Bilal beat incumbent Sheriff Jewel Williams. Bilal will be the first woman to be elected sheriff.
In the race for City Council at-large, incumbents Helen Gym, Allan Domb, and Derek Green will all keep their seats. They will be joined by Isaiah Thomas, and Katherine Gilmore Richardson.
For a look at all the results from Tuesday’s primary, click here.