tv Fox 29 News Special Mayoral Primary Election Coverage FOX May 18, 2015 11:00pm-11:31pm EDT
♪ >> this is a fox 29 news election special. you decide 2015. ♪ >> leadership of philadelphia is about to change. six people have their sights set on the mayor's job. dozens are aiming for city council. chief among voters concerns how to turn around philadelphia's troubled school district with a charter schools are better alternative. how to keep crime fighting a top priority. while improving police community relations. voters want to know philadelphia will be clean and with jobs and new development. tonight we look at the candidates their views and the issues. tomorrow it's time. you decide 2015. ♪ if you were just with us for fox 29 news at 10:00 welcome back. i'm lucy noland. >> i'm iain page. let's start tonight with a look
at the six candidates for mayor accomplish group with their own plans and ideas for making the city better. >> bruce gordon joins us to explain where we stand on election eve. >> reporter: eight years ago veteran city councilman named michael nutter burst from a crowd field of a list candidates to score a surprisingly easy victory in the democratic primary on his way to two terms as mayor. if last week's poll results are any indication, history may be about to repeat itself. former city councilman jim kenny tours a north philadelphia senior center with his former leader. council president darrell clark is about to add his name to an impressive list of local elected officials endorsing kenny' bid to become the next chief executive. >> i've supported jim kenny to be the mayor of the steve philadelphia. >> a poll last week by local news outlets showed kenny lapping the field you have up by 27 percentage points over his closest challengers. political analyst larry ceisler
says kenny moved from back in the pack to front runner on merit. >> for jim kenny everything has gone right up to now and they have not made any mistakes. >> reporter: the field house how they look pitching voters during our fox 29 debate includes state incident anthony williams. >> i'm a person who built consensus and knows how to build relationships a person who has worked across the entire city of philadelphia my end tour political life. >> reporter: former long time district attorney lynne abraham. >> i'm the only one in this state whose had the executive experience that work efficiently with budgets that hired thousands of people, created jobs and saved jobs. >> reporter: former judge nelson diaz. >> we have to create a good school system, create good jobs, and lower the prime rates. >> reporter: former utility executive doug oliver. >> i do not come from the mayor manufacturing farm, i come from a different perspective and i think that will bring new ideas and new energy to the mayor's
office. >> reporter: former state senator milton street. >> i will stop the violence get rid of stop and frisk we'll re-establish a trust between the police and the community. >> now he wants to be our next mayor to create a city of opportunity for everyone. jim kenny and tony williams are fighting over public schools versus charters i think they're both wrong. >> tv ad wars were muted with no barrage of attack. support from african-american leaders who had been assumed to be williams backers. >> he's compassionate man and he wants philadelphia to move forward. >> last week's poll suggests ke inform inform ey where carry a significant number black votes says ceisler -- >> it's politic. it is straight politics. it's about deals. it's about money. it's about supporting city council candidates. and the kenney campaign did their politics better when it
came to endorsements and african-american officials. >> reporter: kenney isn't allowing himself a smile over his front runner status. not yet. >> i'm hard as i was run brag the poll came out and polls, you know they vary. they differentiate from each other. i'm glad to be on the up side of that poll, but i'm not taking it for granted. >> reporter: he should probably not take anything for granted even big front runners can be taken down a peg or two. older man approached kenny at that north philadelphia event last week and asked whether he was row related to the kennedys. kenny spelled his name and said no. iain and lucy. >> all right bruce thank you. there's just one republican in the race for mayor unchallenged in the primary she's melissa murray bailey the 36 year old business woman is president of the america' team for universsm. >> anthony williams raised eye brows when he said that if elected he would fire police
commissioner charles ramsay. now williams described ramsay as the face of the police department's controversial stop and frisk policy and said he should go along with the policy. however polling shows cam ray is very popular. in fact more popular than any of the mayoral candidates. how has this issue played out in the final days of the campaign? our jeff cole reports. >> reporter: politics philly style. >> loud, brash hand to hand combat were there's no brotherly love. >> jim kenny neck mayor of philadelphia! >> reporter: democrat for maneant williams knows it well as he was heckled and he hammered at his opponent in the last days of campaigning. >> it shouldn't come as shock that again jim kenny may have flip flopped on his business. >> a recent poll has williams losing badly. one of the issues dogging williams is his controversial
statement early may that he'd dump police commissioner charles ramsay if he's elected. mayor nutter who appointed ramsay shot back saying anyone not smart enough to keep ramsay is not smart enough to lead the city. >> late last week williams appeared to be smarting over his statement, easing up on the veteran cop. >> i have had um, high regards for the commissioner for a long time. >> we are never not frank with i wasn't one another. >> ramsay has become the face of police reform. head obama appointed him to head a panel on 21st century policing which produced a report calling for better crunching of data whose being arrested and from what community. on friday williams believe he found a smoking gun awed row yod recording of candidate kenny in a late february forum suggesting while he thought ramsay had done a fabulous job, he had another candidate in mind to run the force. >> i think there are people
under him who i work with on a regular basis and i'm am not going outside the philadelphia police department to find our neck commissioner. >> it's not charles ramsay? >> no it's not charles ramsay. >> kenny spokesperson declined to make the candidate available for on camera interview friday afternoon. campaign relays leased statement saying senator williams is making a last ditch effort to recover from the fallout of attacking one of the most popular men in philadelphia. >> senator anthony williams. >> going into election day williams now hopes he and his opponent are on the very same page. >> you are unlikely to reappoint commissioner ramsay. you think he should go and you think jim kenny this the same thing. >> he said the same thing. >> jeff cole fox 29 news. the mayoral candidates participated in dozens of forums and debates. >> and during our fox 29 debate we put them on the spot asking for one or two word answers to a
wide range of questions and you know what, some of the answers definitely made news. >> possessing a small amount of marijuana will get you just a ticket. jim kenny you know that well. should philly take the leap and just legalize it yes or no? we start with jim kenny. >> yes. >> milton street. >> they can't. >> it's a state issue. >> doug oliver. >> yes. >> lynne abraham. >> state issue only. >> nelson diaz. i want some, yes. (laughter). >> do we have another reporter in the house because i think i've got another news story right now? you realize you'll be solomon jones guest tomorrow morning. anthony williams? >> it's a state issue. >> tomorrow philadelphia voters have chance to voice an opinion on how philly schools are run. look at the school reform commission and calls to get rid of it for good is next. ♪♪
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♪ in addition to philadelphia's mayor and council races, community statewide go to the polls primaries for the pennsylvania supreme and superior courts. some communities will vote for county supervisors and commissioners. >> you can also vote for school boards across the state. remember the polls are open from 7am until 8:00 p.m. and philadelphia voters will face a big question. do you want the call on the pennsylvania legislation to abolish the school reform commission. >> a non binding referendum would send a signal to harrisburg about the wishes of parents in the city. back to our bruce gordon now for what the question says about city schools. >> reporter: on paper the ballot question seems pretty simple. who should run philadelphia's public schools? the state or the city? >> but dig deeper and things get a little muckier. in fact it's not even clear this is the right question to be asking. >> the src needs to be abolish. we need to have local control. >> that's been a popular sent
many among mayoral candidates this spring and maybe for good reason. when the commonwealth of pennsylvania took over the philly school district in 2001, through the creation of the school reform commission, local schools were a wash in debt and test scores were in the toilet. philly teachers denounced the state takeover right from the start. but more broadly education advocates say the experiment in state rule has been a colas sal flop. >> we are not better off than 14 years ago. we are more distressed. we have moodied debt burden. we have nor uncontrollable costs costs. >> donna cooper notes that neither the src nor the philly school board before it has taxing authority the ability to raise the funds it needs. so maybe the ballot question misses the bigger point. >> the fundamental issue in the school district in my mind is not about gov very answer it's about resources. so school without library a school without nurse a school without a counselor a school with two few teachers is a school that's going to fail no
matter whether we have an elected or a app point or state imposed school board. >> reporter: governor wolf said he wants to abolish the src and give control to an elected school board but of course republicans are general assembly may have the final say. political analyst larry ceisler. >> my guess if s if the city of philadelphia wants to control their own destiny the gop controlled legislature would say, be my guest. and you fund it yourself, you tax -- you tax your people, it is yours. >> reporter: call it a case of be careful what you wish for. iain and lucy? >> all right, thank you very much bruce. bitter battle has unfolded in the past few months over one particular city council seat. >> yes the campaigning in south philly has been spirited as the community itself. that's next. >> first candidates love their phillies sports. what they said during our debate debate. we asked for their take on our pro teams.
♪ >> chip kelly. mad man or mad scientist? >> lynne abraham. >> goofy. >> lynne abraham. >> mad scientist. >> all right. anthony williams? >> genius. >> nelson diaz. >> a winner. >> okay. jim kenney. >> mad scientist. >> milton street? >> goofy. (laughter). >> all right. and doug oliver? >> jury is out.
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♪ >> the biggest really only city council primary race is in philadelphia's second district which includes a lot of south filly. >> that is where real estate developer rory if i bush aggressive campaign against kenyata johnson. he argues johnson is an obstacle to economic growth. it's too hard to open business and crow 88 jobs. resources need to come to all parts of the second district including point breeze not just center city. councilman johnson finishing his
first term is focused on early childhood education and after school programs. he supports development but not the kind that forces out the poor and elderly. this race turned nasty including a picture of a hot tub. >> the man i'm running against has no issues, no platform that he can run on so from his perspective his commitment is to slander me to send out photos of me sitting in a hot tub on vacation with my better half. >> this is a campaign. we focus on the issues at the end of the day this is the city of philadelphia as well. politics is a contact sport. it's all about making sure we're addressing issues and advocateing for the people who put me in office. >> both men are predicting victory and believe extensive get out the vote efforts will help them tomorrow. >> philadelphia has not leck add republican mayor in more than 60 years. making the winner of the democratic primary almost certain to become the neck mayor. with shockingly few votes. up next, is it time for a
change? >> and what if the candidates for mayor had to vote for someone other than themselves? well, their answers pretty amuse amusing. >> which your opponents would you vote for would you vote for fox 29's mike jerrick. >> doug oliver. >> mike jerrick. >> lynne abraham,. >> ditto. >> nelson diaz. me. >> i would be committing suicide suicide. >> anthony williams? >> it's a a question ow i was outside the day he campaign. i was the only one that went there with my own poster and said i was for mike jerrick. >> you've committed yourself. >> i already committed. >> this is old news for you. >> jim kenney. >> doug oliver. >> mill tron street. >> i'd vote for mike.
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pennsylvania primary you can head to the polls all day they open at 7:00 a.m. and stay open until 8:00 p.m. any voter in line by 8:00 p.m. will be able to vote. >> tomorrow's democratic primary winner all but certain to become's philadelphia's next mayor. >> because of the size of the field and rules of the election that camden candidate will probably receive just a tiny fraction of all possible votes. >> bruce gordon rejoins us to ask is it time to change the rules? >> reporter: in a city in which the republican party barely exists, the democratic mayoral primary takes on an exarch rape rated importance in a steve 1.5 million people, you might be surprised even disappointed to learn just how few votes it takes to win that primary and become the odds on favorite to win the general leck. eight years ago michael nutter won a landslide victory in the november general election for mayor. nutter earn the right to represent the democratic party by winning the may primary. with just over 100,000 votes.
government watch dog david thornburgh predicts tuesday may ab repeat. >> most probably the winner of the democratic primary will only get somewhere around 100,000 votes which is only about 10% of all the people registered to vote in philadelphia. that doesn't seem right. >> reporter: do the math of the we'll do it. in a six candidate field like this spring, less than 300,000 primary votes cast, candidate could win the nomination with just 60,000 votes. in a city of a million and a half people. remember that primary win all but guarantees you become mayor. >> in many cities and countries for that matter, they have a run off system. if no one wins majority of the vote a second contest is held a month or so later between the top two finishers the winner of that race by definition would earn more than 50% of the vote. thornburgh says the run off legit mass tee to the victory. >> elections ought to be time when you have to reach out to
the whole city and build a workable coalition that again gets to you at least 50% plus one vote. >> the current system doesn't do that? >> no. >> reporter: will the city of philadelphia join the rest country and the rest the world an adopt a run off system for primary any time soon? well you should know this is not a city decision. the general assembly in harrisburg has the final say. and there's no indication they're about to change the rule. and so the winner of tuesday's democratic mayoral primary will probable earn the votes of about 115th of the city's population population. iain and lucy? >> interesting stuff. thank you for joining us. make sure you watch tomorrow night at 10:00 as we run the race results for you or get them on our website myfoxphilly.k the poles open at seven. >> if you want a voice in what happens you know what you've got totter. you've got to get out there and vote. have yourself a great night an great tomorrow.
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