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Allan Domb airs TV ads for in bid for at-large Council

Philadelphia "condo king" Allan Domb, a candidate in the crowded City Council at-large race, aired a TV ad Tuesday pledging to forgo a salary if elected.

Philadelphia "condo king" Allan Domb, a candidate in the crowded City Council at-large race, aired a TV ad Tuesday pledging to forgo a salary if elected.

Domb is the first - and could be the only - candidate in a Council race to go on TV. He wouldn't say what the ad buy cost but said 150 to 200 commercials would air each week leading up to the May 19 Democratic primary. The first aired Tuesday on Fox29.

Federal Communication Commission reports show Domb's campaign is spending $312,325 for the 30-second spots on PHL17, 6ABC, and Fox29 through May 15.

In the ad, Domb pledges to donate his $127,000 Council salary to Philadelphia's cash-strapped schools if elected.

"Here's my whole mission: The city has been great to me. I'm only doing this to help the city," Domb said in an interview. "I will work for the . . . people who live here, and I'd donate my salary. I don't want the money."

Domb, 59, founder of Allan Domb Real Estate and a partner in the Starr Restaurants organization, said he wants to bring his financial-management skills to the city.

"I don't think City Council has had someone come out of the business world in Center City for 50 to 60 years. You have to look at this and say, it's a $4 billion budget, who do you want managing these assets?"

A TV ad for a Council bid is rare. In the mayor's race, only two of the seven candidates - former City Councilman James F. Kenney and State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams - have gone on TV.

Domb is vying for one of five Democratic at-large seats along with nearly 20 other Democrats, four of them incumbents.

An independent group backed by parking moguls Joe and Robert Zuritsky, Philly 3.0, will have up to $2 million it could put into Council races.

So far, the group has declined to comment on fund-raising and spending, other than to say it has endorsed five at-large Council candidates: Democrats Tom Wyatt, a partner at Dilworth Paxson; Isaiah Thomas, a charter school dean; Derek Green, former aide to Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco; Paul Steinke, the former manager of Reading Terminal Market; and Republican Terry Tracy.

Incumbents hoping to hold onto their seats are Democrats Blondell Reynolds Brown, William Greenlee, W. Wilson Goode Jr., and Ed Neilson, and Republicans David Oh and Dennis O'Brien.

Other Democrats in the race are: former Councilman Frank Rizzo; activist and lawyer Sherrie Cohen; Yale law student Jenne Ayers; 22d Ward committeewoman Carla Cain; Kensington community activist Marnie Aument Lougher; lawyer Joseph Guerra; education activist Helen Gym; and 2007 Council candidate Wilson Alexander.

Other Republicans running for at-large seats are Cheyney University coach James Williams; 66th Ward treasurer Dan Tinney; lawyer Matt Wolfe; and Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce president Alfred Taubenberger.