If Jim Kenney Is Running For Mayor — And Apparently He Is Running — He’s Going To Have To Resign From City Council First, Dems Da Rules

Photo courtesy of PHILLY.COM

Let us just say up front that we like Jim Kenney. A lot. He is almost always the voice of reason in the confederacy of dunces that is city politics. We’d like to see him run for mayor and barring the entrance into the mayoral race of some Martin Luther King/Bobby Kennedy dream candidate riding on a unicorn to save the day, we’d unconditionally endorse his candidacy. Hell, even if that happened, we’d still likely endorse him, seeing as how we got burned pretty badly by the last MLK/RFK dream candidate riding a unicorn we threw our support behind (SEE Barack H. Obama). On Saturday, City Councilman Kenney told Inquirer columnist Clark DeLeon that he’s running for mayor.

“It’s a disgrace,” said Jim Kenney last Saturday at the Independence Visitors Center at Sixth and Market. But he’s only a councilman at-large. “Why do you think I’m running for mayor? That’s the only position to get anything done by the city.”

However, Part 5 of Section 10-107 of the city’s Home Rule Charter clearly states that:

(5) No officer or employee of the City, except elected officers running for re-election, shall be a candidate for nomination or election to any public office unless he shall have first resigned from his then office or employment.
(6) Any officer or employee of the City who violates any of the foregoing provisions of this section shall, in addition to any penalties provided for hereafter, be ineligible for one year for any office or position under the City.

We feel for him on this. As he’s already pointed out, he’s putting his kids through college on his councilman’s salary. If he steps down from council to formally run for mayor, and does not win, well, guess who’s not going to college anymore. We here at Phawker think it’s needless rule that you have to resign your city council post to run for mayor, but the voters have spoken. Overturning the rule was put to a ballot initiative in this past month’s election, and the electorate said let the rule stand. Until that changes, Jim Kenney will have to choose between his council seat and his mayoral candidacy. So what’s it gonna be, Councilman?

PREVIOUSLY: TAKING HIS WEED wishes a step further, Councilman Jim Kenney is introducing a bill today that would make possession of small amounts of marijuana a simple civil infraction – not a criminal one. Kenney already wants to end mandatory custodial arrests for small amounts of marijuana, or “SAM,” but this new bill would give police the discretion to arrest “bad actors” or simply issue a ticket carrying a $25 fine. “Philadelphia is in the dark ages when it comes to marijuana laws and enforcement,” he said. “With the passage of this legislation, Philadelphia will do its part to end the failed war on drugs by treating nonviolent, minor drug use as a public-health issue, not a criminal one.” MORE