Rizzo lost his seat in the 2011 primary after friction with the GOP machinery and criticism over his participation in the city's early retirement program known as DROP. Afterward, his Republican relations became more strained - the result, he says, of refusing to back Councilman Brian J. O'Neill's plan for redistricting changes - and Rizzo was dumped from his largely ceremonial post as minority whip.
He's now registered as an independent, but said he plans to switch soon to the Democratic Party - the way he registered originally, when his father was moving up the ranks in the Police Department.
"I was a good son, a Democrat when my dad was a Democrat, and I switched parties when my dad switched," Rizzo said.
Rizzo recalled two specific accomplishments from his years in Council - persuading the state police to provide 50 state troopers to patrol interstate highways in Philadelphia, and initiating the creation of a cellphone lot near the airport where people could wait for arriving flights without parking on the shoulders of I-95.
Rizzo said his father, who died in 1991 while running as the Republican candidate for mayor, had never encouraged him to get involved in politics. "While my dad was alive, there was only one Rizzo," he said.
Despite current controversies over real estate reassessments and the stalemated contract talks with city workers, Rizzo said Mayor Nutter "has done a great job, in my opinion, after getting the city's financial situation back in line."
- Bob Warner