While Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney currently has one challenger on the Democratic side, at least one Republican wants a shot at City Hall.
Billy Ciancaglini, a South Philly defense attorney, is set to be the first Republican to officially announce a bid for May’s GOP primary for mayor tonight, first reported by Philly Clout.
Previously, Ciancaglini launched an unsuccessful bid in the Democratic primary for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 2015. He also toyed with a run for the Pennsylvania State House’s 184th District in South Philadelphia.
Ciancaglini’s campaign website’s header states, “End The Sanctuary City. Stop Safe Injection Sites. Eliminate The Soda Tax.”
Ciancaglini has been a vocal opponent of the current Mayor through social media, including his campaign’s Facebook’s pinned post of Mayor Kenney celebrating a federal judge’s ruling in favor of the city’s “sanctuary city” policy, and is running because he believes the city “desperately needs a change.”
“First, I’m running for Mayor because we desperately need a change in our city. No other Mayor of Philadelphia has ever started with such high hopes only to disappoint us on an almost weekly basis,” posted from Ciancaglini’s Campaign Facebook account. “Yes, we need a new Mayor.”
The first topic on his campaign website’s issue page is the controversial soda tax, which he states he is “100% against” and that “No one asked for it. Very few want it. The money gained from it is being stolen. It’s that simple.”
He is also running to “lessen our tax burden, cut wasteful government spending, and address our city’s crippling drug and crime problem.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Ciancaglini’s campaign hashtag is #SGBD, “which stands for “S**** gonna be different.”
— Billy Ciancaglini for Mayor (@BillyforPhilly) December 15, 2018
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, three other Republicans in Philadelphia are mulling a primary run as well: John Featherman, Daphne Goggins and Mark Cumberland.
No incumbent mayor who has run for reelection has lost in Philadelphia in almost 70 years, when the voters approved of the City Charter.