PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –  To no one’s surprise, Philadelphia mayor Mchael Nutter breezed to the the Democratic nomination for mayor tonight, easily defeating challenger Milton Street.

With 95 percent of precincts counted across the City of Philadelphia, Nutter held a lead of 76 percent to 24 percent against Street, a onetime Philadelphia councilman, Pennsylvania state representative and senator, and later a felon convicted of tax crimes (see previous story).

Street, brother of former Philadelphia mayor John Street, tried to build a poorly funded campaign by appealing to the city’s poor and disenfranched.

In his acceptance speech, Mayor Nutter spoke of his desire to lead a new Philadelphia — a city among the top ten safest cities, with jobs for all who need them.

And he said Philadelphia had a moral imperative to work together to improve education.

“There is nothing, nothing more critical, nothing more important, nothing that will have more of an impact of the future of this city than investing in children and making sure that every child gets a quality education,” the mayor said at his victory party at the Warwick Hotel.  “Nothing.”

Watch the speech…

Nutter says he made the tough decisions to cut spending during his first 2½ years in office, and he says it worked. But he told his supporters that full-day kindergarten — on the Philadelphia School District chopping block right now — must be funded.

And he says he’s ready to work for another opportunity to serve for four more years.

There was one ballot question put to Philadelphia voters this election, and it passed handily:  voters approved a charter change that will allow formation of a jobs commission, to help get Philadelphians back to work.

In the Republican nomination race for Philadelphia mayor, candidates John Featherman and Karen Brown were separated at one point by an incredibly thin margin of three votes, with 96 percent of precincts counted.  As late returns came in, Brown pulled ahead by about 60 votes.

Regardless of which candidate gets the Republican nomination, Democratic incumbent Nutter is expected to win the general election easily in this heavily Democratic city.

Reported by Mike DeNardo and Ed Fischer, KYW Newsradio 1060

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