Two Democrats are making a bid at one terming incumbent Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
Former Philadelphia City Controller and former state rep. Alan Butkovitz announced his intentions for the Democratic nomination in November 2018, while state Sen. Anthony Williams has not publicly commented on his candidacy, but filed enough petitions yesterday to get on the ballot.
Kenney bested a field of six Democrats in the 2015 primary by over 30 points, with the next closest candidate being Williams.
Both Butkovitz and Williams are expected to make the city’s controversial sugary beverage tax a talking point of their campaign against Kenney.
A poll released by the American Beverage Association, a vocal opponent of the sugary beverage tax, showed that a majority of Democratic voters, 59 percent, oppose the tax, while 38 percent approve. That same poll found voters split down the middle on whether if Kenney should be awarded a second term, with 43 percent saying yes and 43 percent saying no. A Kenney spokesperson told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the ABA has spent “many millions of dollars on a campaign of misinformation,” while shrugging off the results of the poll.
No sitting mayor has been beaten by a Democratic primary challenger.
The winner of the primary will enter the general election as the heavy favorite over GOP candidate, South Philadelphia attorney Billy Ciancaglini. He was set to face Daphne Goggins, a North Philadelphia ward leader who received the Philly GOP endorsement for Mayor, but she backed out the day before petitions were due aiming directing criticism at the GOP leadership in the city claiming they and Ciancaglini were undermining her campaign and that the party was not ready for a minority candidate.
A Republican has not been mayor of Philadelphia since the city charter was drafted in 1954.
This poll will be open until Wednesday, March 20 at 1 pm.
Reader Poll: Who Should Be The Democratic Nominee for Philly Mayor?
- Former City Controller Alan Butkovitz (46%)
- Mayor Jim Kenney (38%)
- State Sen. Anthony Williams (15%)