Kenney: Looking forward to working with some new city officials, councilmembers

Pat Loeb
May 22, 2019 - 4:07 pm
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 24: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney participates in a walk-through at the Wells Fargo Center July 24, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Democratic National Convention opens July 25.

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has to have a good relationship with City Council to get things done. So are the three likely new members elected in Tuesday's Democratic primary likely to impact that relationship? Kenney doesn't think so. 

After winning the Democratic primary, Kathy Richardson and Isaiah Thomas are likely to be filling the seats being vacated by the retiring Blondell Reynolds Brown and Bill Greenlee. 

Brown and Greenlee have often been helpful to administration bills, such as the sweetened beverage tax, but Kenney says he has a good relationship with Richardson and Thomas as well.

"I've worked with them in the past on many different issues. They're very smart, they're dedicated and I'm looking forward to a positive relationship with them," he said. 

Related: 2019 primary election results

Richardson was Brown's chief of staff. Thomas is an activist who worked in the controller's office. 

Another new face will be Jamie Gauthier, who defeated seven-term Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, promising change. 

While Kenney says he'll miss Blackwell, he looks forward to a new perspective and says Gauthier helped with the rebuild of parks and recreation centers when she was head of the Fairmount Park Conservancy.

"Although Jannie's a dear friend and I love her dearly, Jamie is going to be a fresh, new look at things and I think she's going to be great," the mayor said.

He expressed a similar sentiment about the victory of Tracey Gordon over long-time Register of Wills Ron Donatucci. But he's downright happy Sheriff Jewell Williams lost to Rochelle Bilal.

"I just think he shouldn't have run," Kenney said.