Petitions don’t hit the streets for more than another year, but I did heard back from my friends in Vegas and got the lowdown on some potential mayoral candidates. I’m surprised they are still working with me since I am just a lowly blogger rather than a high brow newspaper columnist, but after some arm twisting they did give me a peak. While the odds do come straight from Vegas, the commentary is my interpretation of what they mean.
I’ll start with the Democrats since the boys in Vegas are having a tough time finding any Republicans to even wager on. The odds reflect the chance they will run, not that they will win. Without further ado:
-Mayor Lou Rosamilia, 8-1: I think the incumbent will be the first one-term mayor since the city went to that form of government nearly 20 years ago. While I do think he likes the mayoral duties of cutting ribbons and reading Dr. Seuss to grade schoolers, I don’t think he likes the day-to-day, nuts and bolts duties and that’s evidenced by the way his administration has stumbled through the last two years. Sure, there are some good things going on in the Collar City but they are overshadowed by things like the King Street demolition, the Scolite debacle and well, not every mayor has the FBI asking questions about what’s going on in his administration.
-Rodney Wiltshire, 3-1: I don’t think it’s any secret the Council president wants to run and his play on Scolite did nothing but reinforce that notion. Bucking the Democratic Party, though, is a risky game. He got the Independence Party line from the GOP and the Working Families Party coordinated his last Council campaign but neither one of those groups will help much in a Democratic Party primary. And it’s all but certain Chairman Tom Wade and company won’t support him. (As an aside, if he gets in a Dem. primary he will likely have the WFP and remain on the ballot regardless of the outcome.)
-Pete Ryan, 12-1: As Rosamilia’s deputy mayor, Ryan has been less than spectacular, I think the party knows that and realizes he would probably be a worse mayor than Rosamilia. The No. 2 guy should make sure the nuts and bolts gets done and well, for the past two years they really haven’t with any semblance of common sense of efficiency. Unlike Wiltshire, there is no way Ryan could wage an independent campaign for anything and I don’t see the party backing him.
-Lynn Kopka, 6-1: The councilwoman wanted to run three years ago but was bested by then Councilman Clement “Chappy” Campana. She has a strong base in Washington Park and is a party loyalist to the extreme – and I don’t mean that in necessarily a bad way. It’s a Democratic town and as such it doesn’t hurt to be a loyal Democrat. That said, she has done little establish herself as a true leader, be it in the party or legislatively, and while president she seemed more focused on corralling cats than political allegiances.
-Cindy Doran, 5-1: The county legislator could be the party’s sleeper candidate. She has strong ties to the school district, is a proven vote getter and has great name recognition thanks to her ex-husband, Dan Doran, who had his own political career going for a while. She is a relative newcomer and as such really is not defined by any stellar legislative initiatives or, on the flip side, any scandals or negative press either. She could come in as a blank slate and would be squarely in the party’s corner. That said, should she get elected, she would need a strong deputy to be an effective mayor.
-Ken Zalewski, 15-1: The councilman is in his last term so he would not have to give up his seat to run and I think he can see himself as mayor someday but that means he would have to give up his six figure job in the state Senate which, in addition to paying more than the mayor, probably requires a whole lot less heavy lifting. Plus, he faces the same party loyalty problems as Wiltshire without the outside support.
-Bill Dunne, 16-1: The current commissioner of the Planning Department and former councilman surely has notions of becoming mayor but, unlike Doran, his slate is all chalked up. He certainly has made enemies along the way, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but his most recent stumbles – King Street, Scolite and the FBI nosing around – are just too much to overcome. The party knows it and probably so does Dunne, who has been accused of a bunch of things but never stupid.
-Clement “Chappy” Campana, 12-1: The former mayoral candidate and Council president showed up at the last Council meeting and I’m sure he still has hopes of running for mayor. But, his slate is chalked up too and unlike Dunne he has also alienated a number in the Democratic Party. Chairman Tom Wade has coined Campana and his band of Democrats as the “Delusional Bunch” and if they think they can win a primary against Wade and company will only lend credence to the moniker.
-Carmella Mantello, 25-1: Vegas initially gave the Republican one set of odds but I talked them into giving them one for the Democrats too. They thought I was nuts but I just told them to look up #troycrazy. Anyway, she is probably unhappier with the GOP as they are with her and while I don’t see it happening, if the Democrats somehow see fit to give her a cross endorsement she wins hands down.
-Legislator Peter Grimm, 17-1
-Legislator Ed Manny, 16-1
-Former Councilman Kevin McGrath, 18-1
-Jack Cox Jr., 15-1
-Jack Cox Jr., 15-1
-Legislator Gary Pavlic, 16-1