With Mayor Lou Rosamilia’s decision to not seek re-election I guess now would be a good time to update the odds for who will run for the city's top office later this year. Vegas is a bit overwhelmed thanks to some college basketball tournament, but bookmakers were able to put together preliminary odds on potential Democratic candidates running for mayor and promised to have some odds on the Republican candidates tomorrow.
First, though, I’ve got to say the mayor’s decision came as no surprise. He was in way too far over his head to make good decisions on his own and did not have the right people giving him advice. They were either over their heads themselves (Pete Ryan, Ian Silverman and Mike Morris) or they had their own agendas (Bill Dunne and about every other department head and employee in the city.) Of the three mayors since the city changed its governing structure, Rosamilia may have been the nicest mayor but he was also the worst.
More on Rosamilia’s rocky one-term later. Tonight, we look to the future. The odds are known to change with the smallest of ripples or whispers or posts on Facebook but as of March 23 sometime after 9 p.m. this is where they stand on who will run, not on who will win. Those will come later too.
For the Dems:
-Rodney Wiltshire: The Times Union is reporting that the council president could announce as soon as March 4. Earlier, he said he would not primary Rosamilia but I think he gave up on that pledge long ago and had been planning to run for a while. He is a solid candidate with the Council presidency under his belt, has better than average name recognition and a good presence in front of the cameras. He will not – or very likely not – have the support of the Democratic Party proper and that means he will probably have to run a primary. He will also likely not enjoy the Independence Party backing he got from the GOP that propelled him to the presidency. ODDS of him running stand at even money.
-Ernest Everett: The little known candidate already has a Facebook page touting his candidacy and has raised some money for a run. He maintains he spent some of that money at places like Hooters and Kokopellis and other bars and restaurants to hold campaign pow wows with key advisers but it will still come back to haunt him - should he opt to continue his run. Whether or not he gets party support is up in the air but since it was the Democrats who initially leaked the campaign summits at Hooters I’m guessing not. ODDS of him staying the race stand at 5 to 1.
Ed Manny: The county legislator wanted to run four years ago but the nod went first to Clement “Chappy” Campana and then to Rosamilia. The retired firefighter is, however, a party loyalist but the only way the Democrats pick him is if everyone else turns them down and they find themselves in a jam. Kinda like how Rosamilia got the endorsement. And Rosamilia, for better or worse, won. ODDS of him running are 7 to 1.
Cindy Doran: Another county legislator who is loyal to the party has shown an affinity for politics during her first term in office. The teacher in the Troy school district got some press – that boosted her name recognition – by calling for the chairman of the Legislature, Martin Reid, to resign and for her criticism of District Attorney Joel Abelove. ODDS of her running are 12 to 1.
Clement “Chappy” Campana: He was the party’s pick four years ago but his involvement in voter fraud, and more importantly his use of political influence to get his father into one of the nicer Troy Housing Authority apartments, dogged his campaign to the point that Rensselaer County Chairman Tom Wade chased him off the ballot. Wise move on Wade’s part. But, Campana does have a following, solid name recognition and, if you think about it, Wade owes him one. ODDS of him running are 12 to 1.
Lynn Kopka: The city councilwoman’s name was in the mix three-plus years ago, didn’t get the endorsement and ran for the legislative seat instead. She was elected president for two years and then lost that seat to Wiltshire and then nearly lost her Council seat altogether. She is however, a party proper person, which means she is in Wade’s corner and has been the front man (woman) against those Democrats who are not (i.e. Wiltshire.) ODDS of her running are 17 to 1.
-Bill Dunne: The former eight-year councilman and current director of the city’s Planning Department certainly has name recognition – whether it’s for good or bad reasons is a toss-up. He is loyal to the Democratic Party, though, and he is “confident” enough to think he could win. ODDS of him running are 17 to 1.
-Pete Ryan: The current deputy mayor was elected to the Council and then the Legislature. If he should toss his hat in the ring, however, he would have a tough time – if not impossible time – distancing himself from Rosamilia’s many missteps. ODDS of him running are 20 to 1
-Ken Zalewski: During an appearance on @Talk1300, the four-term councilman said he wouldn’t mind being mayor someday but fell well short of saying he would run this year. He would have to take a pay cut, for starters, and he is a staunch supporter of Wiltshire. ODDS of him running are 25 to 1.
-Jim Conroy: The former deputy mayor under then Mayor Mark Pattison would probably like to run but he won’t run without party support and that doesn’t seem likely at this point in time. ODDS of him running are 25 to 1.
Mayor Mark Pattison: After serving eight years in office he’s been out of the public eye for 12 years but unlike Rosamilia he did like the job and would be a formidable candidate should he opt to run. He does, however, have a cushy job at the State Comptroller’s Office so whether he wants to give that up and jump back into the lion’s den is unlikely. ODDS of him running are 25 to 1.
Tomorrow I will get the odds for potential Republican candidates and they include Councilman Jim Gordon, former Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Carmella Mantello, former Mayor Harry Tutunjian and former Councilman Mark McGrath.
If I forgot anyone from either party please let me know in the comments or drop me a line at 878-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org