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Jim Kenney will become the ninth consecutive Democrat to serve as mayor since 1952.

Credit: Ilana Wurman

Philadelphia polls closed at 8 p.m., and the results for key races across the city and state are in. 

In the mayoral election, Jim Kenney, the Democratic candidate, received 101,660 votes — 84 percent of the popular vote — and top Republican candidate Melissa Bailey received 17,823 votes. Democrats in Philadelphia have a 9-1 voter advantage.

In his victory speech delivered at the National Museum of American Jewish History Tuesday night, Kenney thanked his parents and children. He said he hopes "every Philadelphian will be able to walk our streets safely and with dignity," according to text provided to

"And if we build an economy for all of Philadelphia, then we will not only grow our commercial corridors and provide a real path for returning citizens — we will break the cycle of poverty for so many families," Kenney added. 

Kenney, who is a former faculty member in the Fels Institute of Government, will become the ninth consecutive Democrat to serve as mayor since 1952. With Philadelphia's past history of favoring Democratic candidates, Kenney's election has not come as a huge surprise, said Penn Democrats President and College senior Sean Foley. 

"We're really excited to see him implement his strong policy in the city of Philadelphia following Mayor Nutter," Foley added.

In the race for at-large seats on the Philadelphia City Council, 1993 College graduate Helen Gym finished first with 16 percent of the votes. 

"Voters demanded a City Council that focused on public education and a growing, sustainable economy for all Philadelphians, especially our most vulnerable," Gym said in a statement. "Those voices were heard."

Education played a huge role in the campaign, and local advocacy groups praised Kenney and Gym for their outward support of traditional public education.

"As Philly schools become battlegrounds for special interest groups, we know elected officials like Helen Gym will stand up for Philly students and for a strong public education system," Executive Director of Pennsylvania Working Families Kati Sipp said in a statement.

Both Kenney and Gym have called for nonprofits to make payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, as a way to fund the debt-ridden school district. 

Democrats Derek Green and Allan Domb were also elected to at-large Council seats, while Blondell Reynolds Brown and Bill Greenlee, both incumbent Democrats, were re-elected to the other at-large seats.

The two Council seats reserved for the minority party went to incumbent Republican Council members David Oh and Dennis O'Brien. 2010 Graduate School of Education graduate Kristin Combs fell short in her bid to earn one of the minority seats as a member of the Green Party, only earning 1 percent of the vote. 

The most important race may have been the Pennsylvania Supreme Court race, in which three seats were up for grabs. Democrats Kevin Dougherty, David Wecht and Christine Donohue won, giving Democrats a 5-3 majority in the state's highest court. Justices, who can run on party tickets, serve 10-year terms. 

Senior reporter Dan Spinelli contributed reporting. 

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