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Philadelphia Lawmaker Wants To Tighten 'Resign To Run' Candidacy Rule

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia city councilman wants voters to decide about a proposed change to the city's Home Rule Charter that would require candidates to resign from other elected offices before running in Philadelphia.

Currently, only elected officials in Philadelphia city government are forced to resign from one office before running for another.

Councilman Jim Kenney introduced a measure in 2006 that would have allowed elected city officials to remain in office even while they sought another -- such as a councilman who wanted to run for mayor.

"The voters disagreed," Kenney recalls of his earlier effort, "and that charter change amendment went down in flames."

Last year, three newly elected city officials -- councilmen Kenyatta Johnson and Dennis O'Brien, and sheriff Jewell Williams -- all ran for their current jobs while serving in the Pennsylvania House.

Kenney says his proposal to put the question on the November ballot would "level the playing field."

"Nothing against them personally," Kenney says, "but, it gave them the unfair advantage of holding public office, getting a paycheck, having the ability to raise money in a public office -- and if you lose, you don't lose your public office."

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