An outspoken former Philadelphia councilman who's been an LGBT advocate, tried to lure hot saucer maker Sriracha to the City of Brotherly Love and pushed for smaller penalties for marijuana possession is entering the city's crop of Democratic mayoral primary candidates.
Jim Kenney, a six-term councilman who resigned last week to run for mayor, was expected to announce his candidacy Wednesday afternoon at City Hall.
Kenney has been known as a candid and opinionated councilman, particularly in recent years on social media. He garnered attention in December for calling out the Christie on Twitter after he was seen in Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones' box during a Philadelphia Eagles game.
"Go home," Kenney tweeted after taking a jab at Christie's weight. "Take the state helicopter. Creep!"
Christie responded on a radio show with a question: "First of all, who?"
"He's got to get somebody besides his parents to know who he is," Christie said of Kenney.
In council chambers, Kenney was behind legislation allowing police to stop arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana and a bill authorizing added penalties for gender identity and sexual orientation hate crimes. During an emotional resignation speech at City Council last week, he thanked his colleagues and highlighted some of the principles that he said guided him through more than two decades in City Hall.
"There's no such thing as economic prosperity that doesn't include economic prosperity for every single citizen in this town," Kenney said.
Kenney joins a field that includes former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and Judge Nelson Diaz. Other candidates are set to enter the race in the coming weeks. Former city solicitor Kenneth Trujillo and Terry Gillen, who once headed the city Redevelopment Authority, dropped out of the race last month.
The primary election is May 19. The nominee normally faces light opposition in the November election since Philadelphia voters are overwhelmingly Democratic.