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May 20, 2015

Kenney wins Democratic mayoral primary

Three newcomers to join city council, as two incumbents bounced; Quinones-Sanchez, Johnson survive challenges

Jim Kenney thumped the competition in the Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday, besting a field of six candidates.

The Associated Press declared Kenney the winner shortly after 9 p.m. 

According to unofficial tallies, with 98.1 percent of the precincts reporting, Kenney received 55.79 percent of the vote. His chief competitor, Anthony Hardy Williams, garnered 26.15 percent. Lynne Abraham, with 8.39 percent, was a distant third.

Nelson Diaz, Doug Oliver and Milton Street each received less than 5 percent.

Mayor, Democratic (98.1% of precincts reporting)
Candidate  VotesPercentage 
Jim Kenney  128,398 55.79%
 Anthony Williams 60,196 26.15%
 Lynne Abraham 19,230 8.39%
 Doug Oliver9,7924.25% 
 Nelson Diaz8,549 3.71%
 Milton Street3,887 1.69% 


"Our campaign was a broad and unprecendented coalition of diverse groups, many of whom came together for the first time to support me," Kenney said in his victory speech. "People of every neighborhood all came behind this effort. It was that unity that made us victorious."

Related Article: Five takeaways from Tuesday's primary

Kenney will square off in the general election against Melissa Murray Bailey, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary. 

In a city as heavily Democratic as Philadelphia, that typically is a mere formality. But Bill Green, former chairman of the School Reform Commission, is reportedly mulling a run as an independent.

"The only thing I'm willing to speculate about tonight is that Jim Kenney will be the Democratic nominee," Green told Newsworks.org, noting that "we don't even have the final results. There is a lot of analysis to be done [about] where and how the vote broke down."

Kenney, who received considerable financial support from the city's labor unions, is best known for leading efforts to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, supporting LGBT issues and maintaining a strong Twitter presence.

Kenney thanked his parents, teachers, campaign workers and diverse supporters. He also praised his former colleagues on city council for shaping him into the man who won the Democratic mayoral nomination.

"You turned me from a freshman councilman who thought he knew everything into one who had a true understanding of this city’s diversity," Kenney said.

Williams, a longtime state senator, told his supporters that their journey continues despite the end of his campaign. He said his vision of creating "one Philadelphia" remains.

"Our campaign has been about building one Philadelphia," Williams said. "A city where everyone has an opportunity for a great education, a job with a future, and the chance to live safely and without fear, no matter what neighborhood you live in. A world-class city that truly lives up to its promise.

"You need to know that I will continue to lead on these issues, because they matter to our future as a city."

After much speculation, Kenney resigned in January from a council seat he had held for two decades, seeking a move into the mayor's office.

Kenney acknowledged the city faces an underfunded school district, poverty and a strained relationship between law enforcement and residents. He reiterated his campaign pledges to bring universal pre-kindergarten and end stop-and-frisk policing.

As mayor, he will have to work alongside Council President Darrell Clarke, who endorsed Kenney just days before the election. Clarke, who opted against running for mayor, often sparred with Mayor Michael Nutter. 

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From left, Derek Green, Allan Domb, incumbent Blondell Reynolds Brown, incumbent William Greenlee and Helen Gym.

At-Large City Council, Democratic (98.1% of precincts reporting)

Candidate  VotesPercentage 
Derek Green 67,72510.71%
 Blondell R. Brown 61,8529.78%
 Allan Domb 56,518 8.94%
 William Greenlee49,9647.90% 
 Helen Gym 48,343 7.64%


Derek Green, former special council for Councilwoman Marian Tasco, heads the pack in the Democratic at-large race for council, in which 16 candidates are seeking five nominations. 

Unofficial tallies show Green collected 10.71 percent of the vote. Incumbent Blondell Reynolds Brown and Realtor Allan Domb received 9.78 percent and 8.94 percent, respectively. Incumbent William Greenlee has gained 7.90 percent.

Education advocate Helen Gym, with 7.64 percent, holds a slim margin over Isaiah Thomas, who has 7.47 percent. Incumbents Wilson Goode Jr., with 7.21 percent, and Ed Neilson, with 6.34 percent, lost their seats.

At-Large City Council, Republican (98.1% of precincts reporting)
Candidate  VotesPercentage 
David Oh 8,76618.01%
 Dennis O'Brien 7,890 16.21%
 Terry Tracy7,65815.73%
 Daniel Tinney7,363 15.12% 
 Al Taubenberger6,426  13.22%


Republican incumbents David Oh and Dennis O'Brien lead the GOP at-large council race, with Terry Tracy, Daniel Tinney and Al Taubenberger rounding out the top five. 

The five winners from the Democratic and Republican at-large primaries will square off for seven seats in the general election. At least two are reserved for the minority party.

City Council, District 7 – Democratic (99.36% of precincts reporting)
Candidate  VotesPercentage 
Maria Quinones-Sanchez6,492 53.74%
 Manny Morales5,589 46.26%


In the heated race in the Seventh Councilmanic District, incumbent Maria Quinones-Sanchez held off challenger Manny Morales. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Quinones-Sanchez earned  53.74 percent of votes to Morales' 46.26 percent.

That race saw both candidates claiming they were victims of voter fraud as Quinones-Sanchez staved off Morales, who lost party support when racist and antigay posts were discovered on his Facebook page.

City Council, District 2 – Democratic (97.14% of precincts reporting) 
Candidate  VotesPercentage 
Kenyatta Johnson 14,680 62.67%
 Ori Feibush8,734 37.29%


Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, with 62.67 percent of the votes, held off developer Ori Feibush in the Second Councilmanic District. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Feibush received 37.29 percent of the tally in a race that highlighted racial tensions in a gentrifying district.

Special Election, Pa. 5th Senatorial Dist. (98% of precincts reporting)
Candidate  VotesPercentage 
John Sabatina Jr. 15,029 75.46%
 Timothy Dailey 4,876 24.48%


In a special election to fill the vacant Fifth Senatorial District, Democrat John Sabatina Jr. has 75.46 percent of the vote with 98 percent of precincts reporting. His Republican challenger, Timothy Dailey, has 24.48.

The vacancy was created when state Sen. Mike Stack became lieutenant governor.

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