Top: Al Taubenberger, Jim Kenney Bottom: Derek Green, Helen Gym, Allan Domb and David Oh

We can all finally stop calling Jim Kenney the “probable next mayor”: Philadelphia citywide election results are in and Kenney, the Democrat and former city council member, won in a landslide against Republican Melissa Murray Bailey.

The five Democrats who won seats in the primary were moved into their slots on City Council, and while a few results are still coming in, it looks like Council challenger Al Taubenberger secured a seat as one of two minority party members of Council. Incumbent David Oh likely grabbed the other seat, and incumbent Dennis O’Brien looks to be down and out.

But the real news was what happened statewide: The Democrats swept the field in the race for the state Supreme Court, which will seat three new Democrats on the court and make for a massive shift in how the body operates. It could have huge implications for the state down the line when it comes to large law changes and redistricting.

Here’s a quick look at the candidates who won and what you should know about them:

Mayor: Jim Kenney

Credit: Chris Montgomery/Billy Penn

Age: 57

Background: Served as a Philadelphia City Councilman for more than 20 years

Lives in: Old City, but has roots in East Passyunk

Three things to know:

1. This South Philly Irish Catholic Mummer once considered himself a moderate, but now he’s the progressives’ pick for mayor and won the Democratic primary in May in a landslide. He’s the one who championed the decriminalization of marijuana in Philly, and he’s now most focused on implementing universal pre-K and advocating for blue-collar and manufacturing jobs to support working families. He garnered by far the most endorsements from groups ranging from black leaders to women to big labor.

2. Kenney is basically a political lifer and served in Philadelphia City Council for two decades before running for mayor. He’s well connected in the city and has in some ways been criticized for that. Is he too close to the unions that supported him, including John Dougherty who’s the noted leader of IBEW Local 98? Is he too tight with lifetime politicians like his mentor, convicted ex-State Senator Vince Fumo, to the point where he’ll excessively use patronage? We talked to him about these questions and a bunch of other things in this extensive question-and-answer sesh.

3. OK, OK Jim Kenney is also a little bit of a goofball. He’s dressed as an elf before. He’s been photographed doing yoga before. He made headlines when he called Chris Christie a fatass and then said he wasn’t sorry. The question is: Now that Jim Kenney is the next mayor, is he still fun? He says yes.

City Council: The new Democrats

From left: Derek Green, Helen Gym and Allan Domb
From left: Derek Green, Helen Gym and Allan Domb

Three things to know:

1. Derek Green, who was the top vote-getter in the spring primary and a former aide of Councilwoman Marian Tasco, secured his position on City Council Tuesday and will serve as a new member of the legislative body.

2. Similar to Green, Helen Gym unseated an incumbent during the May primary and will serve her first term on City Council. She’s a public education advocate who ran on the platform of making our schools better.

3. Developer Allan Domb also snagged his first term on Council tonight. Known as the “Condo King,” Domb poured more than a half a million dollars of his own money into his primary bid this spring.

City Council: The minority party

From left: Al Taubenberger, David Oh
From left: Al Taubenberger, David Oh

Three things to know:

1. Man, was this race a nail-biter. And it could still theoretically change. By 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, 98 percent of precincts had reported and it appears that Republican challenger Al Taubenberger unseated incumbent Dennis O’Brien in a close race. It also appears incumbent David Oh secured another term, but all three candidates are still within a few hundred votes of each other.

2. If Taubenberger ends up unseating O’Brien, it means O’Brien — once the speaker of the state House of Representatives — will be out of job. O’Brien has served on Council since 2012 and, during that time, has championed legislation to track vacant properties and to protect constitutional rights of children and litigants in the criminal justice system. You can find more about him here.

3. It’s also worth noting that independents running against Republicans didn’t show as well as some may have hoped. Andrew Stober, an independent who gained support among largely young people and bike enthusiasts, only secured about 16,000 votes while Taubenberger, Oh and O’Brien were fighting it out in the 34,000 vote range.

The state Supreme Court

From left: Kevin Dougherty, David Wecht and Christine Donohue.
From left: Kevin Dougherty, David Wecht and Christine Donohue.

Three things to know:

1. Well guys, this is pretty huge. And kind of unexpected. In a statewide trouncing of the Republicans, all three Democrats vying for three open seats on the statewide Supreme Court won, signaling what could ultimately mean a huge shift for the court and for the state of Pennsylvania. Read here about the stakes.

2. The election being over also means that the court is going to fundamentally change, as it’s been left sort of in shambles because of controversy, scandal and age. One Supreme Court justice left after being convicted on felony charges, another retired after he was accused of using his state computer to share porn and yet another is being questioned for his pornography consumption on his private email address. Other justices have retired, or are soon going to retire.

3. One of the three Democrats is from Philly. His name is Kevin Dougherty, and you probably know that name from seeing it plastered across the city for the last several months. Kevin Dougherty is the brother of John Dougherty, the notorious union boss here in Philly who has used his union IBEW Local 98 to dump millions into political elections across Pennsylvania. IBEW spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Dougherty’s campaign, and it appears to have paid off.

Anna Orso was a reporter/curator at Billy Penn from 2014 to 2017.