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November 02, 2015

Obama 'proud' to endorse Kenney mayoral bid

President cites former councilman's commitment to helping 'working and middle class families'

The day before a general election widely considered to already having been decided during May's primary season, President Barack Obama endorsed the mayoral candidacy of Jim Kenney, according to an email from the latter's campaign.

“I am proud to endorse Jim Kenney in his mayoral election bid," according to a four-sentence endorsement quote. "The dedication and commitment that Jim has shown to the people of Philadelphia is outstanding, as he continues to be a champion for the working and middle class families that make up the backbone of our nation.

"As we continue our efforts to keep our country’s economy moving forward, fight for fair wages, and pass common sense education reform, we’ll need to be able to count on Jim Kenney. That’s why I’m asking you to vote for him in the general election this Tuesday.”

Kenney, according to that statement, deemed the endorsement "beyond humbling" and returned the spirit of praise, citing Obama's "historic efforts" on prison reform, immigration and policing in advance of next year's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

"As mayor, my goal will be to ensure that every neighborhood is included in that progress," Kenney's statement read. "I know that with help from our partners in Washington and Harrisburg, Philadelphia can become a city where every family has the chance to succeed."

Election Day is Tuesday. 

Kenney is running against Republican Melissa Murray Bailey, Socialist Workers Party nominee Osborne Hart and independents James Foster and Boris Kindij

Bailey labeled the endorsement announcement "smoke and mirrors" and "partisan politics as usual."

"He hopes that if he stacks up as many endorsements as possible, people won't pay attention to the fact that he has not done anything in the past 23 years to help solve the city's most difficult problems," she said. "In the words of Kenney himself, he just wants to hit singles. Well, the city needs more than that."

PhillyVoice will have daylong coverage of the mayoral, council, judicial and other races, along with results of ballot questions, including whether the City Charter should be amended to establish a city Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs.