Philadelphia GOP Ward Leaders To Form Vetting Committee After Endorsed Mayoral Candidate Reveals Mental Illnesses

Andrew Kerr | Investigative Reporter

The leader of the Philadelphia Republican Party said the party will be forming a committee to vet future candidates after its endorsed mayoral candidate Daphne Goggins told The Daily Caller News Foundation she has been unable to work because she suffers from multiple mental illnesses.

Goggins, the first black woman to receive the endorsement of the Philadelphia GOP, revealed she treats for “bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety” in a phone interview with TheDCNF. Goggins said her mental illnesses materialized after she stopped snorting cocaine in 2005.

Goggins hasn’t held a paid job since 2010 due to her conditions and has been supported financially via federal disability payments. She says she has what it takes to serve as mayor of the nation’s sixth-largest city because “the people that mostly do the work are his cabinet, and I have the ability to appoint a cabinet.”

Much of what Goggins said during the on-the-record phone call with TheDCNF came as a surprise to many ward leaders of the Philadelphia GOP, according to Meehan. (RELATED: GOP-Endorsed Candidate For Philadelphia Mayor Says ‘Mental Illness’ Has Kept Her From Working For Eight Years)

“Many members alarmed that they were previously unaware of many of the subjects contained in your article of Daphne’s on-the-record comments,” Meehan said in an email Friday.

Meehan said the party’s new vetting committee “is for in the future.”

Meehan told WHYY on Thursday that he was “remiss” for not having conducted a background check on Goggins prior to the party’s endorsement of her, but changed his tune Friday, claiming a proper vetting of Goggins wouldn’t have revealed what she told TheDCNF.

“I am unaware of any vetting or background check process that would have identified any such issue,” Meehan said.

He added that TheDCNF’s article “stirred some people up. Mental illness is all around us these days but families do not broadcast about it.”

Meehan said Goggins will continue to have the support of the Philadelphia GOP in the runup to the May 21 primary.

“The immediate challenge is securing the necessary signatures for her Nomination Petition,” he said. “I spoke to Daphne this morning and she asked whether she could have her circulators seek out the signatures where Republicans reside. I agreed.”

Goggins will need to collect 1,000 signatures on her nominating petition in order to appear on the primary ballot.

Goggins would face an uphill battle if she wins the nomination. There are seven registered Democrats in Philadelphia to every Republican.

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