Sunday, July 13, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

DiCicco Will DROP Out Of Council Race Tomorrow

City Councilman Frank DiCicco will announce tomorrow that he is dropping his bid for a fifth term, convinced he could have won but saying he doesn’t have the “fire in the belly” to face the coming battle over his participation in the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan.

DiCicco Will DROP Out Of Council Race Tomorrow

City Councilman Frank DiCicco
City Councilman Frank DiCicco

City Councilman Frank DiCicco will announce tomorrow that he is dropping his bid for a fifth term, convinced he could have won but saying he doesn’t have the “fire in the belly” to face the coming battle over his participation in the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan.

DiCicco said a poll he did last week showed his popularity in City Council’s first district was still strong enough to win re-election but that it would have been a tough fight in a crowded field.

“I made a bad decision three years ago to get into the program,” DiCicco said of DROP, which has become a political liability for several Council members this year. “Had I known it would cause all this trouble and confusion, I never would have done it.”

DiCicco, who is set to receive $424,646 in a lump payment for DROP, has attempted in the last 18 months to come up with a politically feasible way to reach reelection. He had suggested that, if reelected, he would donate his Council salary back to the city and only collect his pension payments.

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DiCicco said he would have needed to raise about $500,000 for his reelection bid. He is being challenged in the May 17 Democratic Primary Election by Joe Grace, former communications director for Mayor Street, attorney Vern Anastasio, Mark Squilla, president of the Whitman Council in South Philly, and Jeff Hornstein, an official with the Service Employees International Union.

“I don’t want this to be what Frank DiCicco is remembered for,” he said of the anticipated battle over DROP. “I don’t have that fight in me to have to go 24/7 and raise half a million dollars.”

For more, read tomorrow's Philadelphia Daily News.

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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