While you were gone: Monday morning debates, polling updates and more

 A pair of polls show Jim Kenney leading a mayoral pack that's questioning his progressive bona fides. (Stephanie Aaronson/via The Next Mayor partnership)

A pair of polls show Jim Kenney leading a mayoral pack that's questioning his progressive bona fides. (Stephanie Aaronson/via The Next Mayor partnership)

Wondering what’s been going on with the mayoral campaign since you walked away from your computer on Friday? We got you covered.

Let’s check out a few stories that have run here, and via other media outlets, in the past few days. (And one that’s coming up.)

1 story we’re covering today

— All six candidates in the Democratic mayoral-primary field will field a wide array of questions this morning at a debate co-sponsored by WHYY, the Committee of Seventy, the Philadelphia Business Journal and Young Involved Philadelphia. Audio and video livestreams of Monday’s mayoral forum can be accessed at WHYY.org/livestream. Want to Tweet about the event, which runs from 8:30 to 10 a.m.? Use the hashtag #NextMayorPHL (because that’s what I’ll be doing!)

7 stories we’re linking

Two polls show Kenney opening up a lead in Phila. mayoral primary race (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): Two polls conducted last week on behalf of Jim Kenney showed that he has opened a statistically significant lead over Tony Williams in the race for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Philadelphia, while Lynne Abraham has slipped to a more distant third.

Former mayor Goode talks Black political struggle in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Tribune): Thirty-two years ago, 425,000 people voted for me in the Primary election. We need that kind of outpouring action again, rather than an expectation that 100,000 votes could win the election. That is a shameful show of appreciation for those who made it possible for us to be here. Some have asked in recent weeks whether endorsements make a difference — my response is always the same — voters will vote their interest. Indeed that is what this May 19 Primary is all about — Vote and vote your interest!

Putting mayoral hopefuls on the spot – don’t miss this (Off Mic): For an original look at the six Democrats running for mayor of Philadelphia, I humbly suggest you check out the mayoral forum taking place Monday at WHYY, co-sponsored by the station, Committee of Seventy, the Philadelphia Business Journal and Young Involved Philadelphia.

Is Jim Kenney a True Progressive? (Citified): Whether Jim Kenney wins the mayor’s race may depend on whether he can prove to voters that he sticks to his guns on liberal issues that matter to him. Kenney needs progressive voters to turn out, and he needs them to vote overwhelmingly for him. That’s his only path to victory. Now, though, his opponents are painting him as a Jimmy-come-lately to the progressive cause, and they’re dredging up incidents and votes from Kenney’s long career that cast doubt on his progressive credentials.

Candidates ignore city’s biggest issue: Pensions (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): With less than a month before the May 19 primary, the six Democrats running for mayor have yet to talk about the $5.7 billion dark cloud that threatens to snuff out their campaign promises of universal prekindergarten, cuts in the wage tax, and other costly pledges. That cloud looming over the candidates’ plans, the city’s unfunded pension liability, has been there for decades, and it grows with every passing year.

Seniors vote, but do they have a candidate? (Al Dia): We haven’t heard a peep about elderly issues from any of these candidates. According to campaign teams, each of them has some senior citizen pitch in the pipeline.

Want more jobs in Philly? Reform tax structure (Inquirer): A top priority for Philadelphia’s next mayor must be growing jobs. Everyone agrees, but we’ve lacked consensus on the right path forward. However, something remarkable has been happening among local business, civic, and labor leaders, backed by municipal finance experts: near unanimous agreement that our current mix of wage and business taxes impedes job creation.

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