Over the course of the mayoral-primary campaign, NinetyNine kept track of which candidate garnered support from various groups, people and media outlets in our handy-dandy regularly updated Endorsement Tracker.
Each endorsement is meaningful in its own way, but these nine jumped off the list as having a noteworthy/quirky impact in the race:
In early April, a group headed by state Rep. Dwight Evans threw their support behind Kenney.
The announcement was deemed “historic” by WHYY’s Dave Davies who wrote “I’ve been covering Philadelphia mayoral elections since 1983, and not once in those 32 years can I remember a white mayoral candidate running against a well-known black candidate in a competitive primary getting multiple endorsements from African-American elected officials.”
It also caused an old-vs.-new-school rift in that part of the city.
The FOP endorsement of Kenney was initially perceived as a slam against Lynne Abraham, the former district attorney viewed through a law-and-order lens. It also served to fuel an Anthony Hardy Williams strategy as it pertained to his call to fire police officers who use disparaging language as it pertains to race, sexual identity, faith and other areas.
This one is probably better known for the controversy which came in its wake — that being allegations that a Kenney vote was overruled by editor or publisher — but newspaper endorsements do carry weight per WHYY’s Dave Davies, who wrote:
The Inquirer endorsement is a valuable prize in the mayors race not just because it holds some sway with readers, but because the chosen candidate can use it in broadcast ads, mailings, speeches and robocalls for the rest of the race.
And the editorial’s criticisms of Kenney and his union ties can also be quoted in negative ads by Williams or his supporters.
The self-described “leading voice on issues particularly affecting African Americans in Philadelphia and Vicinity” backed Williams in April, with leader Edgar “Sonny” Campbell saying “he’s got a proven record of delivering for constituents in this city, and he’s got the ability, from his history in Harrisburg, to negotiate for a lot of things the city is going to need from the state.”
The nod gave Williams some pulpit support (even though the group’s political board sided with Kenney). At the endorsement event in Overbrook, he said it also left his late father Hardy Williams “smiling a broad smile” in heaven.
5. National Organization for Women (Philadelphia chapter) backs Kenney.
One would assume that NOW Philly chapter’s first-ever mayoral endorsement would tout Lynne Abraham, who is seeking to become the city’s first-ever female mayor.
For that to have happened, though, Abraham would have had to fill out NOW’s candidates questionnaire, which she didn’t.
So, the support went to Kenney who, according to former NOW President Nina Ahmad, is “an independent thinker and supportive of women’s rights issues.” And with that, it became another line in the campaign’s broad-based coalition fact sheet.
By now, you realize the biggest issue in the mayoral campaign has been education.
So, it meant something big when the city’s teachers, counselors, nurses and other school staffers voted 3-to-1 to back Kenney, an endorsement that came with “grassroots campaigning door to door in addition to the $11,500 maximum allowable direct campaign contribution.”
Coming in second place was Lynne Abraham, not Williams, who if oft-labeled as “the charter-school guy” much to his dismay.
$$$. Enough said.
Having spent months trying to bolster support among millennial voters, Oliver landed his first endorsement of the campaign in early May when Philly Set Go, a nascent “bipartisan PAC aimed at encouraging millennials to become more involved in state and local politics” announced its support.
Said Oliver campaign spokesman Mustafa Rashed, “while there was no initial expectation of any endorsement, this one is welcomed enthusiastically. We look forward to their support and efforts to help Doug win the Democratic primary on May 19.”
In the lone Abraham entry on the endorsement tracker, a web video showed a softer side of ‘America’s deadliest D.A.’ who really, really loves dogs.
Wrote WHYY’s Katie Colaneri, the quirky video released in January “also attempts to promote Abraham’s other qualities, describing her as ‘a sharp, fair-minded elder stateswoman’ and encouraging voters to elect Philadelphia’s first female mayor.”
It appears at the bottom of the post.
9a. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Latino Victory Fund’s support for Nelson Diaz, too. And just why does this “national non-partisan organization dedicated to electing progressive Latino candidates” warrant mention? Because Eva Longoria, an actress best known for her role on the TV show “Desperate Housewives” is involved in running the LVF.