Philly Republican mayoral candidate says she’s living with mental illness, ready to serve

North Philadelphia ward leader Daphne Goggins celebrates after GOP ward leaders vote against reconsidering their endorsement of her candidacy for mayor. (Joe Hernandez/WHYY)

North Philadelphia ward leader Daphne Goggins celebrates after GOP ward leaders vote against reconsidering their endorsement of her candidacy for mayor. (Joe Hernandez/WHYY)

Daphne Goggins, the endorsed mayoral candidate of the Philadelphia Republican Party has told the conservative website The Daily Caller she has bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, but is ready to take the reins of City Hall.

The party made history when it endorsed Goggins, the first African-American woman ever backed by the GOP for mayor.

Picking Goggins, a North Philadelphia ward leader, at a meeting on Feb. 20 aroused controversy when it emerged she’d been receiving Social Security disability payments since 2010.

After that endorsement was affirmed in a second vote Monday night, Goggins acknowledged to reporters she’s been receiving the payments, but declined to specify her disability.

Now The Daily Caller reports that Goggins said her mental illness emerged after she stopped using cocaine in 2005.

“The reason I was actually disabled is mental illness,” Goggins told the website in a phone interview. “I take a chance in saying this because I may lose some voters.”

“Bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety is what I treat for,” she said, according to the website.

The website reported that Goggins said she “will only give up her disability benefits if she becomes Philadelphia’s next mayor.”

Goggins has said she’s remained busy as a community activist and ward leader, and is confident she can take on the responsibilities of the mayor’s office.

Philadelphia Republican Party chairman Michael Meehan said the revelations in the Daily Caller were new to him.

“It’s surprising to me,” Meehan said, “and we are remiss is not having, I’m going to say, done a background check.” He said the party has decided to form a committee to more carefully vet its candidates.

Meehan said there are no plans now for the party to reconsider its endorsement, but at least one other candidate, South Philadelphia attorney Billy Ciancaglini, intends to run against Goggins in the May primary.

Goggins didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Her Facebook page reports she was in Washington Thursday to attend the White House African American Empowerment and Revitalization Summit “to discuss the Trump administration’s commitment to the African-American community.”

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