After months of glad-handing, countless debates and forums, backlash and a literal spill, six Democratic candidates hoping to be Philadelphia's next mayor will learn whether citizens believe they are the right person to lead the city.
Three are seen as viable contenders with one — former city councilman Jim Kenney — viewed as the likely winner.
Voter turnout was reported to be low throughout the city Tuesday — a contrast to independent polling that showed the majority of likely voters have been keeping close tabs on the race.
The polls close at 8 p.m. and results can be expected shortly afterward. Philadelphia City Council seats and scores of judgeships are also up for grabs in the primary.
Kenney, 57, who served on council for 23 years and has a large backing from the unions, held a strong 42 percent lead in a survey of 600 likely voters conducted earlier this month for NBC10/Telemundo62, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com. It was the only independent poll of the race.
Trailing behind, at 15 percent each, were state senator Anthony Hardy Williams, 58, and Lynne Abraham, the 74-year-old who served as Philadelphia District Attorney for nearly two decades.
Former judge Nelson Diaz, former state senator Milton Street and former PGW executive Doug Oliver are seen as long shots.
The race was full of dozens of opportunities for the candidates to share their vision for the city in dozens of discussions, forums and three televised debates — including one on NBC10. It was at that debate, the first of the set, where Abraham collapsed 10 minutes into the contest. The fall was seen by many as a major blow to her campaign after questions arose about her age and whether she was out-of-touch with the evolving citizenry.
Williams became mired in questions about campaign finances and had to pay an $8,000 fine after accepting six donations that violated city-imposed limits and making more than $62,000 in off-limit funds available to his campaign.
But it was his announcement that, if elected, he would fire Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey over the department's stop-and-frisk policy that raised the most eyebrows. Although Street also made the same statement, Williams seemed to face a bigger backlash from political supporters.
Polling showed Ramsey is more popular than all of the candidates and many other well-known city leaders including current Mayor Michael Nutter and former mayor and Governor Ed Rendell.
The victor in Tuesday's primary will face lone Republican challenger Melissa Murray Baily in the November general election. A heavily Democratic city, a Republican has not been elected Mayor of Philadelphia since Harry Truman was president.