Democrat Alan Butkovitz has toyed with the idea of running for mayor for years.
On Thursday morning, he’ll finally make it official: At the Courtyard by Marriott across the street from City Hall, the former city controller plans to announce that he’ll challenge Mayor Kenney in 2019.
His campaign will attack Kenney over the city’s “homicide crisis,” high poverty rate, and controversial soda tax, Butkovitz said.
“While he has given the back of his hand to poor people in this city, he’s also managed to antagonize businesses whose investment we need in order to create jobs for our local economy,” he said.
Butkovitz also vowed to end stop-and-frisk if elected.
“Every minority I talked to has a horror story about being stopped, being pulled out of a car, and treated like a criminal,” he said. “We need an alliance between communities and the police to help provide public safety.”
Kenney has argued that overall violent crime has dropped on his watch, although the number of homicides has risen over the last two years. He’s also touted expanding pre-K, reducing the prison population, and curtailing the Police Department’s use of pedestrian stops.
“Philadelphians want a progressive leader who will stand up to the rich and powerful — not a corporate Democrat running to help billionaire soda CEOs,” said Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for the Kenney campaign.
Butkovitz’s campaign launch comes days after Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced corruption charges against a former municipal employee stemming from an investigation by Butkovitz. Law enforcement officials said Desiree Peterkin Bell, a top aide to former Mayor Michael Nutter, stole and misused taxpayer money. Nutter had called Butkovitz a “snake” when he examined the spending.
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