WHEN SOMETHING as earth-shattering as a federal corruption indictment hits a politician as influential as Vince Fumo, his friends and allies feel the shock waves, too.
And this spring, some of them are running for office.
What will become of Fumo's political family?
Fumo worked hard to get U.S. Rep. Bob Brady into the mayor's race, and longtime Fumocrats Jim Kenney and Frank DiCicco are running for re-election to their seats on City Council.
Kenney and DiCicco, by now multi-term incumbents with their own legislative records, political relationships and fundraising capacity seem well-positioned to thrive on their own.
It's harder to predict the impact on Brady, a longtime friend and associate of Fumo's who must fight the notion that he's a machine politician.
Opponents may produce pictures of Fumo with Brady, a Democratic ward leader and 20-year party chairman, hoping to taint Brady with Fumo's legal problems.
Political analyst Larry Ceisler said it's a tactic that's likely to fail or backfire.
"In this city, I just don't think guilt by association works," he said. "Brady has his own persona, his own identity."
St. Joseph's University historian and analyst Randall Miller said the Fumo scandal could raise the profile of the issue of public corruption and help mayoral candidates Michael Nutter and Tom Knox, who are fighting "pay-to-play" politics.
"The Fumo charges would be another example, another layer in the growing public perception that corruption is a big problem," Miller said.
Even if Brady isn't tainted by his friendship with Fumo, he's likely to miss Fumo's potent fundraising capacity.
Brady yesterday said he would not hide from Fumo.
"It's not in my nature to turn my back on a friend," Brady said. "I wish him and his family well."
Brady said he believes voters will judge him on his own merit and message, and he wasn't counting on Fumo to fund his campaign.
"It's not like I just got here," Brady said. "I've been around a long time, and there are plenty of people I can rely on."
Kenney and DiCicco said that they regard Fumo a friend but that they have their own records to run on.
"At some point, this 48-year-old, four-term incumbent has to be viewed as an individual, " Kenney said. "I've got a body of work I'm proud to take to the voters."
Kenney has been a focal point of controversy lately for his proposal to lift the campaign-contribution limit in a mayor's race in which millionaire Knox has given his campaign more than $2 million.
Although Kenney was among the first in Council to propose contribution limits and supported ethics reforms in the last term, his recent proposal has drawn fire from several civic and business groups.
DiCicco, who won his seat with Fumo's help in 1995, said he's stood on his own for a long time, opposing Fumo on some policy issues and getting little money from him in his last campaign.
DiCicco said he understands that an opponent of his or Brady's may try to make an issue of their friendship with Fumo.