City GOP sources said rumors of local Republican committee chair Joe DeFelice taking a position in Washington, D.C. under the Trump administration were off – but just slightly.
Multiple sources told City&State PA that DeFelice is now in the running for a regional directorship at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees and funds certain affordable housing and homeless service efforts.
The job would allow him to remain in the city. DeFelice had reportedly rejected multiple offers to work in the nation’s capital, citing a desire to remain close to his family in Northeast Philadelphia.
DeFelice positioned himself as an early, local “hype man” for Trump. A final decision is expected within the coming week. DeFelice did not respond to repeated inquiries on the subject – unusual for the typically loquacious GOP booster.
The department’s regional offices function as a liaison between HUD and local housing agencies like the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
HUD Region III has been without a regional administrator since Trump’s election. Based in Philadelphia, the office covers a sprawling jurisdiction that includes Philadelphia along with the rest of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
DeFelice’s departure was expected to reignite a dormant leadership fight within the local party – current VP Mike Cibik was expected to fill in as interim director, with businessman Joe McColgan as a possible opponent for the top spot.
But GOP sources said that Michael Meehan, a descendant of the last Republican party boss to rule over Philadelphia’s patronage machine, may also be jumping into the fray.