Jim Kenney, a South Philadelphia politician and former member of city council rode into the Mayor’s office Tuesday by a steep margin over Republican Melissa Murray Bailey.
With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Kenney had garnered 84 percent of the vote, to Bailey's 14 percent.
The win was hardly a surprise. In a city with a steep Democratic voter registration advantage, Kenney was long considered the front-runner since winning the six-way Democratic Primary in May.
It was, for the most part, a sleepy election, one in which Kenney calculated that he merely had to keep his head down to maintain the advantage.
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Bailey was articulate and engaged on the campaign trail, but the political newcomer could not make inroads with city voters.
Kenney began his career as a political protege of former state Sen. Vince Fumo, who ruled Philadelphia and Pennsylvania politics with a mix of patronage and political leverage until he was convicted of corruption-related offenses in 2009.
But his political profile has evolved along with a city whose political elites have become more progressive and technocratic.
Long seen as ward heeler with a Catholic upbringing and an affinity for blue collar, union-backed politics, Kenney came to be the driving force on protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender city employees. He was also a key proponent in the fight to decriminalize marijuana in the city.