Philadelphia Mayor’s office up for grabs in Tuesday’s primary election


Voters will head to the poles for a special elections in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, with two major seats to fill. 

The mayor of Philadelphia’s office is up for grabs, as is a U.S. House of Representatives seat. 

Democrat Jim Kenney is running for re-election as mayor of the nation’s sixth-largest city for a second term against Democrat Alan Butkovitz, the former city controller, and state Sen. Anthony Williams. Republican Billy Ciancaglini is running unopposed. 

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was recently sued by former Mayor John Street, who says the Kenney administration has illegally overassessed property taxes on Philly homeowners. 

 In a press release, Street said that as many as 200,000 Philly households may have been overassessed. 

“This is the most egregious distortion of the democratic process that I have seen in 50 years,” said Street. “No other administration since the enactment of the 1951 Home Rule Charter has had the capacity or the inclination to raise hundreds of millions of real estate tax dollars without a vote of Council. This is the most blatant and flagrant perversion by a modern-day mayor and a clear violation of one of democracy’s pillars — taxation without representation.” 

Kenney’s biggest success of yet has been the soda tax. City Council enacted a tax on sweetened soda in January 2017. The 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax, which is levied on distributors, funds pre-kindergarten classes, community schools and Rebuild, a $500 million program to renovate public spaces. 

Pennsylvania’s primary elections are closed, which means only registered Republicans can vote in Republican primaries and likewise for Democrats. However, all registered voters, regardless of affiliation, may vote in a special election, such as the one for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 12th District. Four Democrats and one Republican are running to finish the final two years in the term of former Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who was forced to resign last year after being convicted on federal charges that he traded city contracts for campaign money according to the Associated Press. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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