City Councilman Frank DiCicco said yesterday that recent polling by his re-election campaign “show I’m a clear winner” in the upcoming 1st District primary. Then, the man who started his political career in 1967 as a committeeman explained why he’s not seeking re-election.
“I didn’t feel it in my heart that I’d be able to subject myself or the people I represent to one of the most negative campaigns they’d ever have to endure,” DiCicco said during a press conference in the office he’ll vacate at year’s end, flanked by peers and staffers.
The defining campaign issue was the controversial DROP pension program in which he enrolled but recently proposed legislation to let people withdraw, despite having signed off on mandatory retirement. DiCicco, who didn’t want his legacy to be that of a politician that “didn’t live up to my word,” said he enrolled when he was burnt out from the casino issue, but changed his mind because of “all the stuff that I wanted to still get done.”
DiCicco said the district itself has changed as the “power base of Buddy Cianfrani, Jimmy Tayoun and Vince Fumo no longer exists.” Then, he endorsed Whitman Council president Mark Squilla as a successor. “When I look at Mark’s background, I see myself,” he said.
Squilla will launch his candidacy at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) at Burke Playground, 2nd and Jackson streets.