As we tip our hat to Jim Kenney, who will officially become the city's 10th consecutive Democratic mayor in January, let's also pay homage to Bernard Samuel, the last Republican to hold the office.

Barney, as he was affectionately known, was not only the last GOP mayor, but he was also the city's longest-serving chief executive, presiding in City Hall from August 1941 to January 1952.

Like James H.T. Tate, Samuel assumed the mayor's position from his post as president of City Council. Tate stepped up in 1962, when Richardson Dilworth resigned to run for governor, a race he lost to Bill Scranton. In Samuel's case, he assumed power when Mayor Robert Lamberton died in office at the age of 53, after serving for only 20 months.

With Lamberton's death as well as the death of Mayor Samuel Wilson in 1939, Samuel became the fourth mayor in less than three years. They were all Republicans, though Wilson changed parties so often that no one could keep track. But he ran for mayor as a Republican and narrowly defeated John Kelly, the gold-medal Olympic rowing champion and father of Jack, another Olympic champion, and Grace Kelly, the movie star turned princess.

Samuel provided stability; he served out Lamberton's term and then was elected twice in his own right. First he defeated William Bullitt, ambassador to the Soviet Union under President Franklin Roosevelt, and then he had the City Charter amended so he could run again in 1947. He walloped a feisty Dilworth by 93,000 votes. It would mark the last time a Republican won the mayor's office.

Despite his lengthy tenure, Samuel has faded into oblivion; there is no statue of him and no school bears his name. Yet he served as head of City Council's Finance Committee during the Depression and as mayor during World War II. When New York City tried to woo the Army-Navy game away from Philadelphia, Samuel interceded with Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau. And then he tried to have the United Nations relocated to Philadelphia, on Belmont Plateau.

It was during his administration that Edmund Bacon became the city's head planner and the City Charter was overhauled to reform the government. In a move that would make today's Republicans apoplectic, Samuel supported the city's new sales and wage taxes as a councilman and was forcefully in favor of both in his race for mayor.

A short, stout South Philadelphian who lived on Shunk Street, he was part of the Republican machine but was never tainted by many of the party's scandals, which included the suicide of several officials in his administration when there were investigations into improper spending.

Known as the "friendly mayor," he was thought to have given more than 5,000 speeches during his time in office, but nary a word is remembered. That's in contrast to his onetime adversary Dilworth, one of whose quotes is etched in the granite footway in the northwest corner of the newly renovated Dilworth Park:

"Our lack of real capacity for public indignation is due to the length of time lived under the domination of one political machine."

Dilworth uttered those words in 1947, when the Republicans had controlled City Hall for 63 years. They held on for four more, until Joe Clark assumed office in 1952.

Kenney's victory on Tuesday guarantees that the Democrats will be in control for 68 years.

As if to prove Dilworth's point, there is little public indignation - regardless of political machine.

Phil Goldsmith served as managing director of Philadelphia and is the author of "In Search of Self and Family."