Mike Doyle expected to support Matt Darragh in this year’s 170th Legislative District race, but when Darragh did not declare his intentions by late January, Doyle entered the race.
Darragh, who was the Democratic nominee in 2016, eventually entered the race, but dropped out before the deadline to file nominating petitions.
That deadline was on March 6, and Doyle filed 411 petitions. The minimum required is 300. He’ll challenge Republican Rep. Martina White in the general election. White took 54 percent against Darragh in 2016.
Already, Doyle has attended a training session organized by the House Democratic Campaign Committee and counts the HDCC as a supporter.
Doyle has mailed letters to committee people in the 58th and 66th wards, left a message for 66-A leader Shawn Dillon, spoken to 58th leader Jim Donnelly and met with 66-B leader Mike McAleer at the longtime ward leader’s favorite hangout, the Dunkin’ Donuts at Academy and Byberry roads.
A 40-year-old Realtor who grew up in the Levittown area, Doyle lives with his wife on Dunks Ferry Road in Parkwood. Now, he wants to give back to the community that helped him become sober.
“The main reason I wanted to run was to bring my personal experience to the opioid crisis,” he said. “I’ve been to too many funerals.”
Doyle said his biggest problem was with alcohol, but that he was prescribed opioids after an injury. That led him to try heroin.
“I was able to get help,” he said.
Doyle has been sober for more than four years.
“My last drink was Oct. 20 of 2013,” he said.
Last week, in philly.com’s Clout column, Doyle acknowledged serving a month on house arrest after pleading guilty in 2004 to driving under the influence.
Doyle explained that addicts have to accept their past. Otherwise, he said, they will be trapped in their addiction. Since becoming sober, he has sponsored recovering addicts.
“Redemption is a good quality,” he said.
Also in Clout, he acknowledged that the state Department of Revenue filed a $3,784 tax lien against him last year.
Doyle explained that the revenue department would call him, but not leave a message. When he tried to call back, nobody answered. He noted that District Attorney Larry Krasner was recently hit with a lien of more than $10,000 by the city Department of Revenue for failure to pay property taxes.
“These things happen,” Doyle said.
Doyle plans to run a positive, issues-oriented campaign, but the 170th district has a history of harsh negative campaigning from challengers, incumbents, Democrats and Republicans.
Doyle, a volunteer for a homeless advocacy group, is spending his time raising money and developing policy positions. He’ll knock on doors during the campaign.
If elected, Doyle said he will be empathetic to constituents.
“I’m just a regular person who lives in Parkwood who also likes to help people,” he said.