Former City Councilman and mayoral candidate Jim Kenney got a big boost today as a group of African-American elected officials and ward leaders from Northwest Philadelphia endorsed his bid for the top job at city hall.
“I’ve watched [Kenney] in City Council on marijuana decriminalization and what that means,” said state Rep. Dwight Evans, who ran twice for mayor himself. “I’ve watched him on that. I’ve watched him work with people on immigration in terms of the need to expand the population. Now, those are things for a gentleman coming from South Philly that he didn’t have to do.”
Also endorsing Kenney were City Council members Marian Tasco and Cindy Bass , state Reps. Cherelle Parker and Stephen Kinsey and a host of ward leaders from Northwest Philadelphia.
In a city where mayoral elections usually exhibit strong patterns of racial identification in voting, the endorsements represent a historic level of black support for a white candidate running against well-known African-American opponents. One of the leading candidates for mayor, state Sen. Anthony Williams is black. So are former state Sen. Milton Street and fomer Philadelphia Gas Works executive Doug Oliver.
“I’m standing here understanding how hard I have to work to keep your trust, keep your confidence in me,” Kenney said at the endorsement event in West Oak Lane, “because you’re giving it to me lovingly today and I have every responsibility that I live up to that love and that appreciation and that respect.”