Pro-Tony Williams Group Drops $500K Bomb on the Mayor’s Race

An independent group backed by three multimillionaires has kicked off a much-anticipated TV ad campaign supporting state Sen. Anthony Williams for mayor.

American Cities, a committee that has received donations from the principals of the Montgomery County-based Susquehanna International Group, began airing a 30-second spot Friday.

A source familiar with the ad buy says it is worth a whopping $500,000-plus. The commercial will air on 6ABC, NBC10, Fox29, CBS3 and cable channels, the source tells us.

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Here’s Why Jim Kenney, Not Lynne Abraham, Got the NOW Endorsement

Lynne Abraham and Jim Kenney

Lynne Abraham and Jim Kenney

Since it was incorporated in 1971, the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women has never endorsed a mayoral candidate.

Until this week.

Philly NOW president Nina Ahmad said former City Councilman Jim Kenney got the nod because “he’s an independent thinker and supportive of women’s rights issues, and he takes up difficult issues if they’re the right thing to do.”

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The Brief: The Gay Vote in the Mayor’s Race

Photo courtesy of Philly Bricks.

Photo courtesy of Philly Bricks.

The LGBT vote proved to be decisive in the 2012 presidential election. Could it be a force in the 2015 Philadelphia mayor’s race?

Four mayoral wannabes — Lynne Abraham, Nelson DiazJim Kenney and Anthony Williams — tried to win over the LGBT community and its allies at a forum Wednesday hosted by the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club.

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The Candidate Conversations Series: Meet Jim Kenney, the Mayoral Campaign’s Most Complex (and Compelling?) Figure

Jim Kenney

Jim Kenney

Former City Councilman Jim Kenney is a complicated, fascinating figure who’s carved out an unlikely political sweet spot for himself in the nook between two very different bases: 1) progressive Philadelphians, many of them new to the city, and 2) old school rowhome voters and union members. It takes an unusual and appealing candidate to pull that trick off. Kenney checks both boxes, and that’s part of the reason he’s one of the candidates who has a very real chance of becoming the city’s next mayor.

Come meet Kenney and see what the buzz is about next Thursday, April 2, 6 p.m. — 7:30 p.m., at Pipeline Philly’s new co-working spaceREGISTER HERE NOW. Read more »

The Brief: Can Jim Kenney Unite Old & New Philadelphia?

Photo Credit | Matt Rourke, APOne of the many intriguing questions raised by Liz Spikol’s terrific new profile of mayoral candidate Jim Kenney is this: Can Philadelphia’s labor movement and Center City progressives unite?

Let’s start by discussing what we mean, exactly, by the term “Center City progressives.” This cohort—which actually includes significant populations in West and Northwest Philly as well—isn’t entirely synonymous old school liberals. Yes, they’re reliably Democratic. They voted, enthusiastically, for Barack Obama (twice), and few among them would ever consider voting for a Republican presidential or gubernatorial candidate. But many in this cohort are also, at the local level, a little uncomfortable with unions and the political power they wield in Philadelphia [particularly a) the public employee unions, because of questions about pensions and compensation and taxes, and b) the building trades unions, because of their overt political maneuvering and outsized influence]. Read more »

Is Jim Kenney the Face of New Philadelphia?

Photograph by Christopher Leaman

Photograph by Christopher Leaman

I thought there would be glad-handing. I thought there would be exuberant, sweaty-palmed high fives. I thought there would be clusters of well-wishers leaning in for brush-with-fame selfies. I had visions of Jim Kenney, 56, the mayoral candidate and former city councilman, in a slightly too tight Neumann-Goretti sweatshirt, smiling as he greeted supporters tromping up the metal rafters in Philadelphia University’s gymnasium.

This is what I imagined when Kenney invited me to join him for the girls’ Catholic League semifinals in mid-February. In fact, when we’d met a few weeks earlier at a campaign appearance in Fishtown, he’d said, “Liz! I hear we’re going to be dating!” Read more »

Suit: Milton Street Can’t Run Because He’s an Independent from New Jersey

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Just four days after Milton Street launched his campaign for mayor, a local union leader is trying to eject him from the May 19th primary ballot.

A legal challenge filed on behalf of Joseph Coccio Jr., secretary-treasurer of the SEPTA Transport Workers Union Local 234, said Street cannot run as a Democrat in the upcoming election because he is both a registered Independent and a resident of New Jersey, not Philadelphia.

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The Brief: Why the Philly Teachers Union’s Endorsement Matters

On the way where? Photo Credit: City Council Flickr page.

Jim Kenney | Photo Credit: City Council Flickr page

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is, as expected, endorsing former City Councilman Jim Kenney for mayor. PFT president Jerry Jordan will make it official at a press conference Monday afternoon at Germantown’s John B. Kelly Elementary School.

“PFT members voted overwhelmingly for Jim Kenney in our citywide referendum,” said Jordan in a statement. “His years of consistent support for traditional public schools and educators, and his vision for a better Philadelphia for every child make him the clear choice to be the next mayor of Philadelphia.”

What is the PFT’s endorsement worth? A few thoughts:

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Big Labor Group Unites Behind Jim Kenney

Photo Credit | Matt Rourke, AP

Here at Citified, we don’t want to get into the habit of reporting on every endorsement in the mayor’s race, but this is a big one: The Philadelphia Council of AFL-CIO announced Friday that it is backing former City Councilman Jim Kenney for mayor.

More than 40 labor leaders across the city make up the executive board of the AFL-CIO, including electricians union boss John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, Building Trades Council business manager Pat Gillespie, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan, District Council 33 head Pete Matthews, hospital workers union chief Henry Nicholas, and many more.

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