Jim Kenney nabs endorsement from President Obama

“We’ll need to be able to count on Jim Kenney,” President Obama said in a statement. “That’s why I’m asking you to vote for him in the general election this Tuesday.”

President Obama and Jim Kenney

President Obama and Jim Kenney


President Obama threw his support behind Jim Kenney’s bid for mayor.

“I am proud to endorse Jim Kenney in his mayoral election bid. The dedication and commitment that Jim has shown to the people of Philadelphia is outstanding, as he continues to be a champion for the working and middle class families that make up the backbone of our nation,” Obama said, per a news release from the Kenney campaign. “As we continue our efforts to keep our country’s economy moving forward, fight for fair wages, and pass common sense education reform, we’ll need to be able to count on Jim Kenney. That’s why I’m asking you to vote for him in the general election this Tuesday.”

Kenney, who called the endorsement “beyond humbling,” has been written up as the first of a new wave of progressive United States politicians by left-leaning sites like the Daily Kos and the Huffington Post. We asked Kenney last week what he thought of the comparison, particularly to New York City’s Mayor Bill DeBlasio:

After the spring election, national media started characterizing your victory and yourself as a sign of a Democratic shift to the left, sort of saying you were Philly’s Bill DeBlasio. Is that fair?

I don’t want to be anybody’s template. There’s certain things in the city of Philadelphia that are different than New York and some the same. My position is always try to be one of fairness and common sense. If fairness and common sense makes me more liberal or left than not then that’s fine. I mean, I just try to be a decent and fair person. And decency and fairness sometimes means understanding immigration and immigrants’ problems. It means that recognizing being arrested for a small amount of marijuana shouldn’t be a cross to bear for the rest of your life when it comes to employment. And if that makes me liberal yeah I guess I am.

Read the rest of our Q&A with Philly’s probable next mayor here.

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Chris Krewson is the executive director of LION Publishers, a national nonprofit association that serves local journalism entrepreneurs build sustainable news organizations, and the founding editor of Billy Penn. He lives in Havertown.