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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is engaged

If the couple weds before Kenney leaves office, they make Philadelphia history. City officials do not believe a mayor has ever married while in office.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is engaged to be married to Letty Santarelli.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is engaged to be married to Letty Santarelli.Read moreMICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

Philadelphia may soon be having a different sort of City Hall wedding.

Mayor Jim Kenney last month became engaged to his girlfriend of several years, Letitia Santarelli. But it’s unclear how soon hizzoner will be vowing to love and honor Santarelli all the days of his life, as the couple have not set a date for the nuptials.

“We got engaged in December, we’re happy, and we do not have a date in mind,” Kenney said in a statement. “We won’t be commenting further as this is a personal matter.”

If the couple wed before Kenney leaves office, they will make Philadelphia history. Kenney spokesperson Deana Gamble said city officials do not believe any mayor has married while in office. Kenney, who coasted to reelection last year, took the oath of office for his second four-year term this month.

The relationship between “Letty” Santarelli and Kenney, who rarely discusses his private life, became public when she accompanied him on an official trip to Iceland in 2017.

It also surfaced in the aftermath of the controversy over the more than $1 million in bonuses handed out to staffers of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Santarelli was the convention’s office manager and got a $13,000 bonus. Kenney and former Gov. Ed Rendell, who chaired the convention’s host committee, denied the mayor called in any special favors for Santarelli.

Santarelli works as an executive assistant at Thomas Jefferson University. An All-American basketball player for Immaculata University in 1986, she previously coached the girls’ basketball team at Neumann-Goretti High School.

Kenney has two adult children with his ex-wife, from whom he has been separated for about a decade. Their divorce was finalized in a case filed in 2018, according to court records.