Kenney wins Dems’ mayoral nod; upsets brewing in Council at-large race [updated]

It’s primary day in Pennsylvania, and voters are heading to the polls. Check back here throughout the day for NewsWorks’ updated coverage.

Tune to WHYY 90.9 for coverage throughout the day. Live, on-air coverage of results will begin at 9 p.m.

10:35 p.m. update

With 97.6 percent of the vote counted, Derek Green, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, Allan Domb, Councilman Bill Greenlee and Helen Gym lead the Democratic council at-large race.

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10:20 p.m. update

Seventh District Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez called in to 90.9FM after defeating challenger Manny Morales. She said now is the time to heal the divisiveness of the campaign and find a way to move forward.

“Voter intimidiation has to come to an end. No more,” she said, noting that people could go to jail for election-related activities. “We have a lot of work to do.”

She also looks forward to working with Jim Kenney, provided he wins in November, despite having endorsed Anthony Hardy Williams.

10:10 p.m. update

Jim Kenney, who left City Council to run for mayor, is currently delivering his victory address. WHYY’s Katie Colaneri is there.

He thanked a broad coalition of supporters and said he’ll work to end stop and frisk and establish a real living wage if elected.

10:05 p.m. update

Anthony Hardy Williams is giving his concession speech. He lauds Jim Kenney for running an effective campaign.

He continues his “One Philadelphia” mantra, saying that while a campaign ends, “the desire to bring us all together as human beings continues.”

10 p.m. update

The seventh district council race has been called for incumbent Maria Quinones Sanchez.

9:50 update

Bill Green, former city councilman and current School Reform Commission member, was asked by WHYY’s Dave Davies if he’ll run for mayor as an independent.

“The only thing I’m willing to speculate about tonight is that Jim Kenney will be the Democratic nominee,” said Green, 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.”

Regarding the SRC-abolishment ballot question, he said it would be “disastrous” to have a mayor and school district run by the teachers union.

“In this election, everybody watched the puppets, and I think we have to worry about the shadows,” he said.

Over the course of the 10-minute conversation, live on air on WHYY-FM, Green did not say he wouldn’t run for mayor in the general election as an independent.

9:42 p.m. update

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson called in to WHYY. He said voters rewarded he and his team for their work in the first term and looks forward to “continuing to focus on support for our public schools … [and] smart development.”

He said he could envision working together with challenger Ori Feibush as a developer in his district, despite some heated words exchanged during the campaign.

9:30 p.m. update

On Jim Kenney’s victory, Patrick J. Eiding, President of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, said:

“Today, working families from all corners of Philadelphia united behind Jim Kenney’s campaign for Mayor. Jim’s campaign to create a fairer and more inclusive economy – by fighting for a livable wage, equal pay for equal work, fair funding for our schools, and creating affordable and safe neighborhoods – is a mandate for the working families’ agenda.

“I congratulate Jim on a well-deserved victory and I salute all of the democratic candidates for running spirited, issues-based campaigns. I look forward to working with Jim Kenney to move all of Philadelphia forward.”

9:28 p.m. update

The second district City Council race has been called for incumbent Kenyatta Johnson over challenger Ori Feibush. With 62 percent of the vote counted, Johnson has 62 percent of the vote.

9:25 p.m. update

Per Tom Ferrick, “Anthony Hardy Williams had the worst performance of any serious African American candidate in the history of Philadelphia politics.”

9:22 p.m. update

Reacting to the Jim Kenney victory, Kati Sipp, director of Pennsylvania Working Families, said:

“It’s a great day for progressives, having nominated Jim Kenney. Philadelphians strongly rejected the candidate backed by almost $7 million from right wing suburban billionaires pushing for expansion of charter schools. This election has shown that in an age with a rising tide of money in politics, big money doesn’t always win.

“Kenney ran on a platform of supporting Philly public schools, raising the minimum wage, and ending stop-and-frisk, while Williams ran a cynical campaign marked by a string of inexplicable blunders and intellectually dishonest stunts. This election shows that a candidate propped up by big money can be beaten out by a candidate who stands for true progressive values.”

9:07 p.m. update

AP has called the Philadelphia Democratic mayoral primary for Jim Kenney. He will face Republican Melissa Murray Bailey in the general election.

Here is a link to NinetyNine’s interview with the GOP candidate.

9:05 p.m. update

Looking for race results? We’re continually updating them via this link.

8:55 update

With a shade over 15 percent of the vote counted, Jim Kenney has a huge lead over the rest of the mayoral field with 63 percent.

Allan Domb is leading the Democratic council at-large field with three incumbents (Bill Greenlee, Blondell Reynolds Brown and Ed Neilson retaining their seats). The other member of the top five? Derek Green.

8:30 p.m. update

Looking for race results? We’re continually updating them via this link.

8:10 p.m. update

We still don’t know who won. (And don’t worry, we won’t do these sorts of updates every 10 minutes. It’s just that we won’t be getting any reports from the candidates’ parties for a while, so we’ll use this downtime to inject a little bit of levity into the mix.)

8 p.m. update

Well, the polls are closed so now, we await results from the mayoral, council (district and at-large), city commissioners and judicial races. (If people were in line before 8 p.m., they may still be voting.)

7:45 update

You’ve heard all about how there were so very many forums and debates this mayoral race, right? Well now, it can be quantified.

Nelson Diaz’s campaign spokesman Barry Caro “just did a final count on Google Calendar. We *attended* 85 forums, debates, candidate nights.”

Yep. That’s a heckuva lotta forums.

6:45 p.m. update

Remember this morning when NinetyNine told you all about the happenings at the Mifflin Elementary polling place in East Falls? Well, mayoral candidate Doug Oliver was there around 6:30 p.m., and he posted a video urging people to get out and vote. You can see it via this link

As for the other candidates on Twitter?

Jim Kenney’s talking to kids.

Anthony Hardy Williams’ making visits with City Councilman Curtis Jones.

Nelson Diaz is also encouraging people to get out and vote.

For their parts, Lynne Abraham and Milton Street don’t have any recent updates as of 6:57 p.m.

6 p.m. update

NinetyNine just checked in with mayoral candidate T. Milton Street Sr. a couple hours before polls close.

He’ll get back to us with details about his post-election party plans, but for the time being, here’s what he had to say about the state of the race:

“Well, there’s low turnout is what I’ve been hearing, but I’m running strong in some areas. I don’t know how Lynne Abraham could overcome [Jim] Kenney who really put out a major assault with those people up in Northwest Philly.

“I’ve been to four or five polling places, and people are coming out to take pictures, saying ‘I got you,’ so it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen.”

5 p.m. update

If today’s primary is to feature an evening-turnout push, it’s about to begin.

We’re still out in the field, so check back for updates between now and when the polls close at 8 p.m.

Click here for the 2015 Philadelphia Voters Guide

2:45 p.m. update

In the heart of one of the city’s power-voting districts, Republican mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey and 9th District council candidate Kevin Strickland introduced themselves to voters at Simons Recreation Center.

It was the 10th location on a 16-stop citywide tour for the woman who will face off against the winner of today’s Democratic-primary winner in November’s general election.

Having flown under the radar in recent months, except for those forums to which she was invited, Murray Bailey noted that she was recognized by Republicans at earlier stops but also asked if she was there to vote.

“We’re just talking to ask many people as we can because half of them will be disappointed that the person they supported lost,” she said. “We want to make sure they know that I’m here, that there’s an option besides the candidate who they’ve been hating on for the past several months.

Several of Murray Bailey’s campaign signs, complete with a QR code that links directly to her website, were on the walls outside Simons Rec.

There were also a slew of Kenney signs on those walls and, by 1:20 p.m., voters at Simons were treated to a preview of the possible November field.

Having just finished up an appearance at Relish, Kenney stopped by Simons to meet a few voters before continuing on the campaign trail.

Kenney and Murray Bailey hugged and assured one another that a potential general-election campaign would be friendly and without the friction that marked the primary of late.

For his part, Anthony Hardy Williams is scheduled to stop by Simons Rec at 3:30 p.m.

7 a.m.-2:45 p.m.

You can see all our previous live-blog updates via this link.

What’s at stake

Voters who are registered Democrats will be choosing the Democratic mayoral candidate. That person will go on to face Republican Melissa Murray Bailey — and possibly an independent candidate — in the general election Nov. 3. 

(If you’re wondering what Murray Bailey is up to today, here’s a link to her election day schedule.)

Vying for the chance are former Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, former state Sen. Milton Street, former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, former Philadelphia Gas Works executive Doug Oliver and former Common Pleas Court Judge Nelson Diaz.

For a look back at the mayoral campaign up to this point, check out NinetyNine’s top nine moments of the campaign and the top nine stories from the last five months of mayoral coverage.

All 17 seats on City Council — 10 district seats and seven at-large seats — will be on the ballot. Three positions on the City Commission are open, too, as well as a bunch of state and municipal judgeships.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the races for highly contested Philadelphia City Council seats in the 2nd District and 7th District until the results come in tonight. 

Take a look at NewsWorks/WHYY’s handy Voters Guide for a quick, informative and unbiased take on who’s running for what today. 

Voters also have the chance to weigh in on four “yes or no” ballot questions. Here’s the Committee of Seventy’s explainer on those questions and what the implications are “in plain English.” Any voter, regardless of political affiliation, can vote on these questions. 

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Registered voters are allowed to cast their ballot as long as they are in line at the appropriate polling location by 8 p.m. 

Wondering where to cast your ballot? Use the Pennsylvania voter services site to find out. 

Click here to submit a voter complaint to the Pennsylvania Department of State.


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