Dawkins joins Democratic race

Jason Dawkins last week an­nounced he’s a can­did­ate for the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion for the 179th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict.

The Frank­ford res­id­ent has resigned his post as seni­or le­gis­lat­ive aide for City Coun­cil­wo­man Maria Quinones Sanc­hez to run for the Lower North­east House seat now held by fresh­man state Rep. James Clay.

“Res­id­ents of the 179th have been un­der­served for too long,” Dawkins said in a Jan. 6 an­nounce­ment of his can­did­acy. “I’m ex­cited about this race and look­ing for­ward to con­tinu­ing my ser­vice to my fam­ily, neigh­bors and com­munity part­ners.”

The dis­trict runs from Ol­ney in­to Ox­ford Circle, Frank­ford, Wissi­nom­ing and a small part of Lower May­fair.

Clay said Fri­day he ex­pec­ted to have com­pet­i­tion this year and he be­lieved it would be Dawkins.

He said he and Dawkins had a sit­down a couple of years ago when Clay was be­gin­ning his first cam­paign.

“I figured he would run against me,” Clay said in a phone in­ter­view.

“The reas­on I’m run­ning for of­fice is simple: our cur­rent rep­res­ent­at­ive is not ex­per­i­enced to lead our com­munity in­to a fu­ture that’s pro­duct­ive, vi­brant and vi­able,” Dawkins stated. “I be­lieve I’m the best can­did­ate that’s here — will­ing to listen, un­der­stand and re­spond to the con­cerns of res­id­ents of the 179th.”

Clay said he’s ready for the cam­paign and is proud of the ser­vices he provides to his con­stitu­ents.

“There’s not much to do but con­tin­ue to do the right thing,” Clay said.

Dawkins’ cam­paign will hold an “an­nounce­ment rally” from noon to 2 p.m. on Sat­urday, Jan. 18, at the Frank­ford Boys and Girls Club, 1709 Kin­sey St.

Un­til 2013, the 179th was rep­res­en­ted by Demo­crat Tony Payton Jr., whose nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions suc­cess­fully were chal­lenged in 2012, and he was knocked off the bal­lot. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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