Jim Kenney, current Philadelphia´s Mayor, had a “fast and furious” night, amidst the speed of the televised debate with his Democratic opponents who want to take him off on the May 21 primaries where it will be decided if he goes on as a progressive option in the City of Brotherly Love.
Last night the NBC10/Telemundo62 cameras captured few instances of brotherhood in the debate where state Senator Anthony Williams and former City Controller Alan Butkovitz did not stop pressuring Kenney for his responsibility on the issues of crime, poverty and education as a triad that defines his failure at ruling the city.
The three Democrats became combative on the city’s most pressing issues, from increasing homicides to increasing real estate taxes on the supervised injection site.
Kenny had to avoid the dangers of the conversation as the issue turned toward the end of the sweetened beverage tax and the abolition of the “stop and frisk” policy, two aspects that characterized his administration and that hold him against the wall in the African American and Hispanic sectors.
The debate lasted an hour, enough time for Kenney´s opponents to bring up the fact that the current City chief is controlled by powerful political interests.
State Sen. Anthony Williams said he could cut Philadelphia’s intricate poverty rate “in half” over the course of eight years as mayor.
Regarding the rise in homicides Butkovitz blamed District Attorney Larry Krasner, whose criminal justice reforms send a message to violent criminals that they can leave with limited repercussions. Butkovitz proposed a return to mandatory minimum sentences.
Byvthe end, the three candidates took turns being both combative and defensive, jumping questions and bickering.
For most of the night, Kenney did not answer to repeated criticisms on his political financiers, but he had apparently met his limit. With eight minutes left, Kenney took a question about whether voters were better off under his watch.
Williams said the fight between his two rivals during the night was “embarrassing”. He also spent much of the debate repeating his campaign website domain – WilliamsIn2019.com – which is good because his campaign cannot be found in a Google search.
At a press scrum after the debate, Butkovitz and Williams accepted specific questions from reporters. Kenney was nowhere to be seen.
Translated by: José Espinoza