Widow of state Rep. Donatucci considers running to fill his House seat

Rep. Donatucci: Died Nov. 8
Rep. Donatucci: Died Nov. 8
Posted: November 16, 2010

Maria Donatucci, the widow of state Rep. Robert Donatucci, is thinking about running for his seat in a special election, according to his brother, city Register of Wills Ron Donatucci.

Robert Donatucci, 58, died in his sleep Nov. 8 of complications due to sleep apnea.

Ron Donatucci, leader of Southwest Philadelphia's 26th Ward, said his Democratic committee members want Maria Donatucci to run.

"At this stage, we're still grieving," said Donatucci, noting that the future of his brother's seat became a fast topic of political gossip.

"But in our business, within an hour after he died, the rumors started. Nothing's sacred."

Maria Donatucci has worked for the city's Bureau of Administrative Adjudication since 1997. She was unavailable for comment yesterday.

"She's sharp," Donatucci said of his sister-in-law. "She's been around. She knows the job. I think it would be a nice tribute for my brother if she served out his term."

Robert Donatucci was a 30-year veteran of the state House's 185th District, which stretches from Broad Street and Passyunk Avenue in South Philly southeast into Delaware County's Darby Township. He was re-elected in the Nov. 2 general election by a 5-to-1 margin.

State law calls for the state House speaker to issue a writ within 10 days of a vacancy for a special election to be held at least 60 days after that.

Speaker Keith McCall has until Nov. 30, the end of the legislative term, to issue that writ.

If he does not act, the Republican House leadership will do so after Dec. 1, since they took control in the Nov. 2 election.

Bob Caton, a McCall spokesman, said yesterday that no decision had been made on when to schedule the special election.

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