Second candidate running as Republican for mayor in Philadelphia

African-American ward leader Daphne Goggins is seeking the Republican nomination for mayor of Philadelphia.

Daphne Goggins sits on her front porch in North Philadelphia. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

Daphne Goggins sits on her front porch in North Philadelphia. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

Most years, Republican candidates for mayor of Philadelphia are former Democrats looking for a new opportunity.

Not Daphne Goggins.

Goggins, 56, is a GOP ward leader from North Philadelphia who says she’s been a Republican since she was 18.

She’s announced she’ll seek the party’s nomination for mayor, promising to bring Republican solutions for the city, as Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, seeks a second term.

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In an interview, she said she’ll scrap the soda tax and cut other taxes, too. If the city eliminates waste and corruption, she said, there would be enough money to improve schools, fight crime, rebuild neighborhoods and create jobs.

Goggins doesn’t run away from President Donald Trump.

“I’ve met with him. I found him to be genuine, and I felt like he genuinely wants to see my community do better,” Goggins said in a phone interview. “Unfortunately, the fake news does not tell us the truth about what he’s doing to make things better.”

Goggins was among several Trump voters profiled in a series by WHYY, and she appeared in a CNN broadcast in which she seemed to endorse the idea that many supposedly white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville were actually leftists bused in to cause trouble.

With experience as a social worker and community activist, Goggins has three sons who’ve gone to college. She said they went to charter schools, and she’s a firm believer in school choice.

One other candidate, South Philadelphian Bill Ciancaglini has announced for the Republican nomination. John Featherman, who sought the GOP nomination in 2011, is considering another run.

Philadelphia Republican Chairman Michael Meehan said in an interview the party’s ward leaders will gather next week to hear from aspiring candidates for mayor and City Council, and will eventually consider whom to endorse.

Goggins said she isn’t worried about who else might enter the race.

“I truly believe this [campaign] is God’s will for me to do,” Goggins said, “so I’m just going to run my race and offer the people of Philadelphia an alternative, a real Republican alternative.

The primary election is May 21.

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