Patty-Pat Kozlowski, a former director at the Department of Parks and Recreation, is expected to be the endorsed Republican in the 177th Legislative District race.
Patty-Pat Kozlowski carefully weighed whether to jump into the 177th Legislative District race.
Kozlowski loved her job overseeing more than 120 parks as director of park stewardship at the city Department of Parks and Recreation.
What pushed her “over the edge,” she said, was the city’s support for safe injection sites for opioid addicts. Such sites will open “over my dead body,” she said.
“Doing this will kill our quality of life,” she said.
Kozlowski, a Bridesburg resident, welcomed almost 300 supporters last Thursday night as she declared her candidacy at St. George Church hall in her native Port Richmond. She even cooked much of the food that was served.
Kozlowski, who once worked for conservative Democratic Councilwoman Joan Krajewski, is expected to be the endorsed Republican in the primary. Six Democrats are in the race.
The incumbent, Republican Rep. John Taylor, is not seeking another term. He introduced Kozlowski at her announcement.
“I think we’re gonna do it, John,” she said.
A longtime community activist, she is wary of developers looking to change what they call “up-and-coming” neighborhoods.
“We were never down and out,” she said.
Others in attendance included local GOP party boss Mike Meehan and Republican ward leaders Bob Cummings, Kevin Pasquay and Vince Fenerty.
Pasquay, the veteran and effective Republican leader in the 45th Ward, said he was “ecstatic” that Kozlowski entered the race.
“The woman has meant so much to us in Port Richmond, Bridesburg and the lower Northeast,” he said.
Pasquay expects Kozlowski to be a hustler on the campaign trail, knocking on doors to introduce herself.
“I think voters will like Patty-Pat and her platform,” he said.
Taylor was re-elected in 2016 with 55.15 percent of the vote in a presidential year. He generally fared better in non-presidential years, when turnout in the district dips by about 10,000 voters.
Taylor said successful campaigns must include a quality candidate with a strong work ethic who connects with voters. He’s worked with Kozlowski on issues such as zoning and the Port of Philadelphia, and believes she would be able to deliver constituent services.
“Patty-Pat is a big personality,” he said. “She’s the ideal candidate. She’s a tough gal. That’s what we need.” ••