Thursday, April 24, 2014
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O'Donnell withdraws from 8th District race

Thursday brought the first major casualty of the 2011 campaign for City Council with the withdrawal of Donna Gentile O'Donnell to replace councilwoman Donna Reed Miller in the 8th District.

O'Donnell withdraws from 8th District race

Thursday brought the first major casualty of the 2011 campaign for City Council with the withdrawal of Donna Gentile O'Donnell to replace councilwoman Donna Reed Miller in the 8th District.

The Inquirer's roving political writer Tom Fitzgewrald reports that O'Donnell, a public policy consultant, said she concluded she did not have enough of a base to emerge from the crowded field and win.

"There is a racial demographic that will play itself out in the race, and when you add up the numbers, the winning scenario is just not there," O'Donnell said in an interview.

The district, which stretches from Chestnut Hill to Tioga, is 76.5 percent black and 16.2 percent white, according to the latest census figures. O'Donnell is white.

Her decision came after Wednesday's drawing for ballot position, which placed her in the 10th position -- dead last among 10 candidates.

The other candidates are Cindy Bass, Fay Dawson, Jordan Dillard, William Durham, Andrew Lofton, Greg Paulmier, Robin Tasco, Howard Treatman and Verna Tyner.  

O'Donnell had planned to campaign on a proposal for term-limits for members of Council, as well as the development of "micro-economies" in the city's poorer neighborhoods and a Planning Commission proposal to turn vacant land in North Philadelphia into farmlands, as Detroit is doing.

O'Donnell,  who is on the board of directors of the Allman Brothers Band Museum in Macon, Ga., found a bright side. "I'm going to see the Allman Brothers in New York this weekend," she said.

Her husband is former Pennsylvania House of Representatives Speaker of the House Bob O'Donnell.

Thursday brought the first major casualty of the 2011 campaign for City Council with the withdrawal of Donna Gentile O'Donnell to replace councilwoman Donna Reed Miller in the 8th District.

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