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Former Fels Institute of Government instructor and longtime City Councilman Jim Kenney is the presumptive next mayor of Philadelphia.

After a resounding victory in Tuesday night’s mayoral primary, Kenney will face Republican challenger Melissa Murray Bailey in the November general election. With Democrats comprising 78 percent of the electorate, Kenney is virtually assured victory.

With 98 percent of the vote counted late Tuesday night, Kenney led state Sen. Anthony H. Williams by a comfortable margin, with four other candidates trailing close behind.

During his campaign, Kenney formed a coalition of unlikely allies, including members of the LGBTQ community, union leaders and key black politicians — including City Council President Darrell L. Clarke.

His base of support helped topple the better-funded Williams — once considered the front-runner — by nearly 30 percent of the vote.

Elsewhere, one Penn graduate replaced another in the City Council race. 1986 College graduate W. Wilson Goode, fell short in his reelection campaign as a Democratic at-large member, while newcomer and 1993 College graduate Helen Gym earned a spot on the Council. Gym cofounded Parents United for Public Education and has famously fought for public schools across the city.

1975 College graduate Sherrie Cohen lost her second bid for City Council, despite greater support from Philadelphia Democratic establishment, including an endorsement by the Democratic City Committee. 

Another at-large incumbent, Councilman Ed Neilson lost as well. Kenney’s decision to run for mayor left one vacancy on the Council, which combined with Goode and Neilson’s exit, produced three new members of the city’s legislative body. Joining Gym on the Council are lawyer Derek Green and businessman Allan Domb. 

1978 College graduate and Republican Ward Leader Matt Wolfe lost his campaign for an at-large seat to the City Council. Members of the minority party in Philadelphia — traditionally the Republican Party — are guaranteed two at-large seats on Council.

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