By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of the prime movers that drove results in the recent Democratic primary in Philadelphia was the leader of the Electricians’ Union, John Dougherty, who is now reflecting on the potential of Jim Kenney being the next mayor.
“Johnny Doc” as he is known, and many union leaders, thought Council President Clarke was the best material for mayor, because of ‘his experience and steady hand,’ but when Clarke opted out in mid-January, Dougherty says former Councilman Jim Kenney came to the fore. He says Kenney has been “articulate on all of the important issues:”
“Jim Kenney, I believe, is as prepared to be the mayor of Philadelphia as anyone in my lifetime.”
Dougherty — the long-time Business Manager of IBEW Local 98 — says Kenney has grown quite a bit, serving six consecutive terms in City Council. Dougherty sees in him the best of previous mayors, like Ed Rendell – touching on broad points, and understanding government inside and out – like John Street and Michael Nutter:
“He has a foot in the past, but I tell you what, he has the ability to jump two forward, right in the future.”
When asked about criticisms by the editorial board at the Inquirer that “the unions backing Kenney already wield too much influence,” Dougherty smiled and responded by saying “never be a sore winner.”