PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Jim Kenney has won in a landslide. Kenney was declared the winner with 67% of the vote. No incumbent mayor seeking reelection in Philadelphia has lost since 1951, and with Kenney, it appears that streak could continue.
Mayor Kenney’s supporters were celebrating Tuesday night after the incumbent easily defeated Democratic challengers state Sen. Anthony Williams and former City Controller Alan Butkovitz in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary election.
“Our success tonight wouldn’t have been possible without the many individuals who took action to support our cause — our cause to provide quality for all children, our cause to rebuild our schools and parks and recreation centers, our cause to build a fair and equitable city where everyone has an opportunity to succeed,” Kenney said.
Butkovitz and Williams focused their campaigns on repealing the mayor’s signature achievement — the so-called soda tax, the proceeds of which went to fund pre-K programs in Philadelphia.
Both men fought uphill battles against an incumbent who remained popular despite the controversial sugary beverage tax. And on Tuesday evening, both men threw in the towel in the Democratic primary.
“I congratulate him and wish him well in his new term,” Butkovitz said. “We felt it was important to give people a choice. Although Philadelphia has a lot going for it, there is some very, very serious problems.”
Kenney acknowledged those issues, specifically the rising homicide rate and opioid addiction problem, saying he will focus on fixing them if elected to a second term.
“It’s not my challenge, it’s all of our challenge,” Kenney said. “As I’ve said, we’re all in this together and we need everyone’s help to fix these problems.”
Kenney will face off against Republican Billy Ciancagalini in the general election this November.