Upper Darby state Rep. Nick Micozzie to retire

State Rep. Nicholas Micozzie, R-163, of Upper Darby, announced today that he will retire from public office following the conclusion of his term.

Micozzie, an Air Force veteran who was first elected to the state House in 1978, released a statement on his web site announcing his retirement when his term expires at the end of the year. Micozzie spent 36 years serving as a state representative and another 19 years as an Upper Darby councilman.

Micozzie currently serves as the chairman of the House Transportation Committee. He was instrumental in passing the transportation funding bill late last year.

His statement read:

“In the lyrics of Kenny Rogers’ song ‘The Gambler,’ he sings ‘You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.’ My friends, it is time for me to fold ‘em, to walk away, and to know when it is time NOT to run.

“After 19 years of public service as an Upper Darby councilman and 36 years as a state representative, I have decided to retire at the end of my current legislative term. It is time to spend more time here at home with my wife, June, and my family, and end the two- or three-times- a-week trip back and forth to Harrisburg, sleeping in hotels.

“I thank my family, my friends and the people of the 163rd District for providing me the opportunity to serve. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving the public these many years. Next year, I will sorely miss being a state representative.

“During my tenure as a state legislator, I believe I have led a career that I can look back upon with pride. One of my greatest accomplishments is as the majority chairman of the House Transportation Committee, where I was able to provide leadership in enacting a comprehensive dedicated transportation funding bill that finally addresses the state’s aging and deteriorating transportation infrastructure.

“Other accomplishments of which I am proud occurred during my tenure as chairman of the House Insurance Committee. They included reforming the Catastrophic Medical Liability Insurance Fund to reduce the insurance premiums for doctors and hospitals; creating Medical Saving Accounts to help lower health insurance costs; ensuring free testing strips for diabetics; providing a mandatory 48-hour hospital maternity stay for mothers of newborn babies; passing the Towing Standards Act; crafting the MCare Act, which instituted a number of market reforms in the midst of the medical malpractice insurance crisis; and extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding and eliminating the waiting list. I also was pleased to be able to garner $2.7 million to save the arts, music, library and physical education programs along with 50 jobs at the Upper Darby High School.

“Through the years, my office has been able to obtain millions in state dollars for the purchase and renovation of the Lansdowne Theater and the 20 Century Club Building, as well as funding to purchase the properties for the redevelopment of Clifton Heights along Springfield Road and Baltimore Pike. Having the opportunity to help improve our local communities has been very rewarding.

“Again, I am humbled and grateful for the support I have received year after year, and look forward to continuing to serve through the rest of this current term.”

A Republican candidate for the 163rd seat has not yet been announced.

Democrat Vince Rongione, of Upper Darby, announced his candidacy earlier this month. Rongione previously served as an aide to former U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak.

By John Kopp