The race for 2019 has officially begun in the city of Brotherly Love.
Former three term Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Philadelphia. He’s the first candidate to officially challenge incumbent Mayor Jim Kenney, who is currently serving his first term.
Butkovitz served in the Pennsylvania State House representing the 174th District in Philadelphia from 1991-2006, before beginning his three term stint as City Controller of Philadelphia. Butkovitz was viewed as the favorite for a fourth term before he was upset by challenger Rebecca Rhynhart in the Democratic primary in 2017.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Butkovitz has “toyed” with the idea of running for mayor for years, but decided this was the proper time to hop in the race.
He plans to attack Kenney on the city’s “homicide crisis,” high poverty rate and controversial soda tax, according to the Inquirer.
Kenney’s administration has touted expanding pre-K, reducing the prison population and “curtailing the Police Department’s use of pedestrian stops” for his bid for a second term, according to the Inquirer.
No incumbent mayor who has run for reelection has lost in Philadelphia in almost 70 years, when the voters approved of the City Charter.
Butkovitz is the first confirmed challenger to Kenney in the primary, but he may not be alone in his quest to one term the mayor.
State Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia), who finished second to Kenney in the Democratic primary in 2015, is “seriously” thinking about joining the race as well according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.