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Former Kenney Aide Unseats Incumbent City Controller In Upset Victory

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There was an upset political victory in Philadelphia on Primary Day.

Rebecca Rhynhart, a former aide to Mayor Jim Kenney, unseated incumbent City Controller Alan Butkovitz in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

One of Rhynhart’s first orders of business was to step foot inside her first grade daughter’s classroom.

She called it a civics lesson for her first grader and her classmates.

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Rhynhart, who grew up across the city line in Abington, isn’t a newcomer to city government, but this is her first political run.

Unofficial numbers show she stomped longtime politico, Controller Alan Butkovitz, by more than 23,000 votes.

Former Gov. Ed Rendell called the victory the result of keying in on small groups and working 12- to 14-hour days.

“It was spectacular,” said Rendell.

The controller’s office functions as the city’s financial watchdog.

Rhynhart indicated a priority on her list is to conduct an audit of the embattled and often trouble Philadelphia Parking Authority.

“The authority hasn’t been audited since 2009,” she said.

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Citing broad financial experience in the Nutter and Kenney administrations, Rhynhart  says more than anything, she’ll seek to work collaboratively with city leaders.

Kenney said her victory speaks to a chance in political tides.

Rhynhart faces a Republican challenger in the fall. Mike Tomlinson ran unopposed in the primary.

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