When you tell someone that David Franczyk has been on the Common Council since 1986, they expect a seasoned and well-groomed statesman — a skilled orator with charm, a conversationalist with personality.
But they would be very wrong, because the longtime incumbent is none of those things. Even his supporters admit that Franczyk is shy, standoffish, and impersonal. His public speaking skills are lacking and he sometimes seems socially awkward.
Now, Franczyk is in the political fight of his life — and it’s a reelection battle he is likely to lose. He is badly trailing Joe Mascia, the popular and outspoken tenant elected housing commissioner.
Franczyk has been uncharacteristically visible in recent weeks, in an apparent effort to improve his image. Stemming from his days as Council President, he is remembered as an iron fisted machine politician who wouldn’t hesitate to wag his finger in a constituent’s face, chew out an intern to make himself feel big, or bully his supporters into circulating petitions.
Understandably, he is deeply unpopular among voters.
In recent weeks, he has been “photobombing” many of his longstanding political rivals in a way that, sources tell me, was “awkward, tense, and uninvited.”
“We were looking around thinking to ourselves, ‘wow, I can’t believe he showed up to this,” the source says, referring to a flag raising ceremony in recognition of Juneteenth.
On another occasion, Franczyk is said to have “gotten uncomfortably close” to Council President Darius Pridgen at a fundraiser last month. Franczyk appeared overly eager to pose for the photo op, getting too close for comfort. The source, who works for the Council, would not detail precisely how close the two men momentarily were, but the photo appears below.
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