Many of Philadelphia’s prominent Italian politicians gathered to march in the spectacular Columbus Day parade. There were many Italian politicians (and those that wish they were Italian) who joined the celebration. RON DONATUCCI, the prominent Register of Wills and chairman of numerous other elite organizations, marched next to STATE SEN. LARRY FARNESE. COUNCILMAN JIM KENNEY – who has the best of both worlds in that he is half Italian, half Irish – also marched.
Kenney has been looking more fit and energized lately. A number of insiders speculate he is preparing to run for Mayor. If he did, he would need votes from South Philadelphia, Center City and the Northeast. These are areas where he has done well in the past. His candidacy could cause problems for the unofficial front-runner, STATE SEN. ANTHONY WILLIAMS.
There is also a new rumor floating around that JUDGE RENEE HUGHES may run. The judge is the former wife of STATE SEN. VINCE HUGHES. She has distinguished herself as an excellent jurist and a strong personality. She is also attractive and African American and a woman: three perfect characteristics for a candidate in Philadelphia.
These mayoral complications have many months yet in which to work themselves out. Meanwhile, it was a gorgeous day on S. Broad Street! Also seen at the Columbus Day parade were the ubiquitous COUNCILMAN MARK SQUILLA and highly respected JUDGE MATT CARRAFIELLO.
In Harrisburg, the Senate passed a bill to extend the age of eligibility to be a judge to 75. At the present time, judges have to retire at 70. After that milestone, a number of well-qualified judges have going on to become senior judges. Senior judges are paid per diem to hear cases and often do as much as regular judges. Raising the judicial age is a good idea because most judges gain vital experience over a number of years. Therefore many judges are just hitting their stride in their late 60s.
Federal magistrate FELIPE RESTREPO was sworn in as federal District Judge last week. Restrepo is son-in-law of JUDGE GENE MAIER and the husband of the lovely KATIE. The ceremonial courtroom was packed with dignitaries including powerbroker TOM LEONARD; JUDGES TIM SAVAGE, TED MCKEE, FELICE STACK and SANDRA MOSS; JIM CRUMLISH; and AL & BARBARA DRAGON.