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November 03, 2015

Kenney is Philadelphia's next mayor

Former City Councilman James Kenney was elected the next mayor of Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The Associated Press declared the Democrat the winner at 8:26 p.m., less than 30 minutes after polls closed in Pennsylvania. He will succeed Mayor Michael Nutter, who guided the city for eight years. He will be inaugurated Jan. 4, 2016.

Kenney is celebrating with his supporters at the National Museum of American Jewish History on Independence Mall.

His primary challenger was Republican Melissa Murray Bailey, who like many of her party's candidates, found the 7-1 registration advantage for Democrats too difficult to surmount.

Kenney, 57, was backed by many of the city's unions, including the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

Three third-party candidates – Jim Foster, Osborne Hart and Boris Kindij – were also on the ballot.

Turnout on this beautiful, warm Tuesday was reported low across the city.

Kenney campaigned this morning in South Philadelphia, where he grew up.

He was asked about the unusual nature of walking around his childhood stomping grounds in the role of Likely Next Mayor.

“Bizarre,” he said. “It’s a strange feeling. It’s really unexplainable. I’ve ran these streets, played in that playground, know all these people. It’s really humbling and remarkable that I’m in this situation.”

Asked if he’s at all overwhelmed by the nostalgia of Election Day morning contrasts, he said he isn't, at least not yet. And why’s that?

“It hasn’t overtaken me yet. Haven’t cried yet,” he said, noting that he’s “sure he will at some point.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.