DISTRICT ATTORNEY Seth Williams and City Controller Alan Butkovitz were easily re-elected to new terms yesterday in races that drew very little notice from the city's 1,024,362 voters.

Williams, a Democrat, defeated Republican Danny Alvarez with 81 percent of the vote.

Butkovitz, also a Democrat, defeated Republican Terry Tracy with 82 percent of the vote.

For Butkovitz, the big political question now is whether he serves all four years of the third term he won yesterday, or resigns at some point to run for mayor.

For Williams, who won a second term yesterday, the question of running for mayor is a more distant prospect. He expects to support state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams for mayor in 2015.

And Philadelphia mayors typically seek and win a second term.

So, a Seth Williams campaign for mayor may not come until 2023, something he felt just fine with after winning last night.

"I look forward to being the D.A. for as long as the people will have me," said Williams.

Asked about his mayoral ambitions, Williams cited former Gov. Ed Rendell, who served first as district attorney and then as mayor. Williams said Rendell "told me he really couldn't achieve a lot of the things he wanted to do until he became mayor."

Butkovitz has been clear that he is considering such a run for mayor in 2015. He plans to stay out of that race if Council President Darrell Clarke runs.

"If there is a significant base for me, then I'm looking at running," Butkovitz said last night. "I'm not just going to run to run."

Williams served as an assistant district attorney for 10 years and then as city inspector general before winning his first term in 2009. He was unchallenged in the May primary election.

Butkovitz, a Northeast Philly ward leader, served in the state House from 1991 until his first election as controller in 2005. He easily won a three-way primary election in May with 60 percent of the vote.

Yesterday's low voter turnout - an estimated 11.5 percent - continues a 20-year trend in so-called off-year elections every four years, which lack the pizzazz of a national presidential race or local battle for the Mayor's Office.

The Committee of Seventy, an election watchdog group, noted this week that off-year general election voter turnout has fallen every four years from 26 percent in 1993 to 12 percent in 2009.

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN
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