Latrice for City Council?
Philadelphia City Hall and political coverage from the Philadelphia Inquirer City Hall bureau.
Latrice for City Council?
Look out City Council contenders, here comes Latrice!
With talk beginning to simmer about who's in and who's out for City Council in 2011, City Council's most recognizable staff member, Latrice Bryant, is considering a run for Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller's 8th District seat in 2011.
Bryant comes from a political family with deep ties to the Democratic City Committee, and she challenged State Rep. Rosita Youngblood in the 198th House District in 2004. But it was in 2008 that Bryant gained local notoriety by virtue of an unflattering television news investigation into her work hours and an apparent romantic link with her boss, City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr.
The Fox 29 News investigation in September of 2008 questioned whether Bryant worked a full schedule and falsified time sheets during Council's summer recess. Bryant escalated the situation by flashing hand-written signs in Council Chambers that labeled Fox 29 reporter Jeff Cole as a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Fox 29 happily responded to her allegations of racism by publishing photos of her and Goode on vacation together in Jamaica. Bryant later apologized for her actions but disputed the report's conclusions.
On Monday Bryant confirmed the rumors sailing around City Hall -- that she's definitely thinking about it.
"It's a possibility, said Bryant, 38, Goode's chief legislative aide, who has worked for him for 10 years. She was an inheritance tax clerk for Register of Wills Ronald Donatucci for five years before that.
Bryant, who was elected to the state Democratic Committee in May, is also a Democratic committeewoman in the 12th Ward in Germantown. Her mother, Patricia Bryant, is deputy chief of staff to Sheriff John Green and once worked for former state Rep. Bob O'Donnell when he was Speaker of the House in 1990-91. Her brother, Michael Bryant Jr., and sister, Patreya Bryant, are both Democratic City Committee members.
A big question for Bryant will be whether Miller, the sitting Councilwoman, runs again. Miller is enrolled in the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) and can only return to Council in 2012 by retiring for a day after being reelected in 2011 and collecting a lump-sum retirement payout.
On Monday, Miller said she has not decided whether to run. "I haven't actually made a solid decision yet," Miller said. "Every day it changes."
Bryant said she will make a decision "Soon," and it will not necessarily depend on Miller's plans. "I'm just keeping my options open."
Is Bryant worried that her bad run with the media in 2008 will haunt her campaign?
"I think the positive work I've done in the community will outshine any negativity in the future," she said.
All 17 members of Council are up for reelection next year.
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