But wait! Gary Rosen (the highest overall vote-getter), Kate Toomey (third place), and Grace Ross (sixth place) are all now considering jumping in to the mayoral fray.
Now I like Irish, Perotto, Rosen, and Toomey. I even respect Grace Ross. However, having three or more candidates in the mayor’s race is going to practically ensure that Lukes, a Democrat-in-name-only who doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being a consensus-builder in City Hall, wins in November. Lukes has a solid base of conservative votes locked up and appeals to anti-incumbent voters, even though she’s an incumbent as well.
I hope that the moderate and liberal candidates in the race keep that in mind. Support should coalesce around one forward-looking non-Lukes candidate, whether it’s Rushton (by virtue of winning the most votes for an already-declared, non-Lukes candidate for mayor) or someone else.
Worcester is on the way up, thanks to the hard work of coalitions built by Tim Murray, Jim McGovern, and other like-minded individuals in the city- some of whom are running for the council. Being Mayor of Worcester doesn’t have “strong mayor” authority, but as chair of both the council and the school committee, the mayor has a great deal of public visibility and practical influence over the city’s affairs. Worcester needs a new consensus-builder who will continue to move the city forward, not a mayor whose claim to fame is opposing projects and initiatives, regardless of merit, in the name of “the taxpayer.”
Indeed, convincing the other candidates to stay out of the mayoral race could very well be the first test of just such a consensus-builder. Time will tell.