GOP has its candidate in 177th district

Patty-Pat Kozlowski is expected to be the Republican candidate in the 177th Legislative District.

Kozlowski is a Port Richmond native now living in Bridesburg. She’s a well-known community activist who works as director of park stewardship at the city Department of Parks and Recreation. She formerly worked as a top aide to late Councilwoman Joan Krajewski, a conservative Democrat from Mayfair.

Republican Rep. John Taylor, who is not seeking another term, has been among the party leaders recruiting Kozlowski to the race.

Kozlowski would appear to have the potential to duplicate Taylor’s path to victory. Two years ago, when Taylor earned 55.15 percent of the vote against Democrat Joe Hohenstein, he piled up 73 percent in the 45th Ward, which would seem to be Kozlowski’s base.

Kozlowski’s official announcement is expected on Feb. 8 at her alma mater, St. George Elementary School.

Other Republicans who could run include Pete Smith, a community activist from Tacony and Wharton School graduate, and Chris Vogler, GOP leader of the 55th Ward.

Hohenstein, an immigration lawyer, is running again. Other Democrats running are Maggie Borski, a law student and daughter of former congressman Bob Borski; union plasterer Sean Kilkenny; community activist Dan Martino; and Sean Patrick Wayland, who served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve and spent time in Iraq in 2008.

Possible candidates are Tom Forkin, an aide to state Rep. Mike Driscoll and chairman of the 55th Ward Democratic Committee; and Harry Enggasser, a ward leader, aide to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, two-time challenger to Taylor and president of the Bridesburg Civic Association.

Sean K. McMonagle, an aide to Councilman Mark Squilla, has been mentioned as a possible candidate.

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Mike Doyle, a Realtor from Parkwood, announced last week that he will be seeking the Democratic nomination in the 170th Legislative District.

Doyle made the announcement on Facebook Live, with entertainment provided by Ferko String Band. He’s running, in part, to lessen what he sees as the division and hyper-partisanship in Harrisburg.

If he wins the primary, he’ll challenge Republican Rep. Martina White. Doyle, though, might not have a clear path to the general election.

Matt Darragh, an auditor general office employee who took 46 percent of the vote two years ago against White, is a possible candidate. Fran Nelms, who lost to Darragh in the 2016 primary, will not be running.

Doyle favors increased funds to treat opioid addicts and provide Narcan for emergency personnel and community groups.

On other issues, he favors free community college tuition, paid sick and family leave for all workers and a higher minimum wage. He supports Philadelphia’s status as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. ••