Voters divided as City Hall up for grabs

Sam Newhouse

Voters were hitting the polls throughout the day on Tuesday to choose who will be next to lead the city.

The mayoral primary for the Democratic nomination is considered to be an all-but-certain predictor of the November election in heavily Democratic Philadelphia.

“I voted for Jim Kenney because I think he’s the most progressive candidate,” said Chris Connelly, 32, of the Fairmount area, who works in motion picture production.

He cited public schools as a strong concern.

“I think he’d be good for the city,” he said.

Barbara Jones, 71, of North Philly, said she voted for former D.A. Lynne Abraham for mayor.

“She’s one tough cookie, she was a good D.A. and she’d be good for this city,” Jones said, adding that she voted for City Council-at-large candidate Alan Domb.

“I respect him because he’s donating his pay for schools,” she said.

But other voters said they didn’t feel strongly for any candidate.

Kenneth Hudson, 34, of North Philly, said he watched mayoral debates and didn’t think any candidate expressed enough of a focus on the sort of community-police relations issues that have roiled the nation recently — for example, ordering body-worn cameras department-wide.

He dismissed the fact that perceived frontrunners Kenney, a former City Councilmanand state senator Anthony Williams, both vowed to reform the police department as part of their platforms.

“That [policingissues]would have had to have been the main thing,” he said. “Like if anybody changed the subject, you change it back. That would have made a difference.”

Several individuals interviewed Tuesday by Metro did not vote and had no plans to.

But Qu’Ran Whitfield, 21, the judge of the polling office in Ward 29, Division 3, said Tuesday afternoon that turnout was as strong as in the November gubernatorial race that saw Tom Wolf elected, and that he had no issues to report with any of the voting machines.

“Everything’s been going smooth,” Whitfield said. “No problems.”

Check back with more results on the primary as they come in.

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