HomeNewsRace is on in 172nd

Race is on in 172nd

Aizaz Gill (fifth from right) and supporters.

About 250 people were at Cannstatter’s last week as Aizaz Gill, Republican candidate in the 172nd Legislative District, kicked off his campaign.

Gill, president of the Burholme Civic Association, seeks to challenge Democratic Rep. Kevin Boyle in November.

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Before that, he’ll have to win the primary on April 23. U.S. Army veteran Patrick Gushue is also seeking the GOP nomination.

The emcee was former City Councilman Al Taubenberger, who faced Boyle in 2012 and 2022. Taubenberger wants to start referring to the challenger as “State Representative Aizaz Gill” in a year.

“We’re gonna make it happen,” he said.

The Rev. Joe Campellone, who was president at Father Judge when Aizaz was a student there, delivered a blessing. The crowd also listened to Kate Smith’s version of God Bless America.

Speaking in support of Gill were Jacqueline Reich, political science professor at Chestnut Hill College (Gill’s alma mater); Jeff Hanagan, a longtime friend of Gill who runs a successful landscaping company; party boss Vince Fenerty; and Don Garecht, who met the candidate while he was vice president of the Burholme Civic Association and Gill was a new member and later worked with him at the city elections commission office.

The speakers described Gill as someone with integrity who is results driven, community oriented, nonpartisan, hard working, tireless, passionate, a leader and committed to public service.

“We need someone like Aizaz,” Reich said.

Fenerty said he expects Gill to receive votes from Republicans and “good Democrats in the Northeast.” He credited Gill’s parents and the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales at Judge with preparing him for this opportunity.

“He is a good man,” Fenerty said.

Garecht described Boyle as an “absentee” lawmaker.

“If you elect me, I won’t be absent,” Gill said.

Gill faulted District Attorney Larry Krasner and former Mayor Jim Kenney for the city having more murders than New York – which has a population more than five times that of Philadelphia – from 2020-23.

Gill’s top issues are crime, schools, inflation and overspending by government.

“We need Northeast common sense,” he said. ••

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