The mayoral candidacy of Joseph Riley entered into ever-lasting rest last Monday after a brief race. The campaign was two weeks old. No calling hours are scheduled.
It's been a week since Joe Riley announced his withdrawal from the mayors race, leaving Democrats feeling cheap and used (and not in a good way). Just three weeks ago, Riley loved the Democrats and was honored to be the party's mayoral candidate. An election date had been set and inaugural tux's rented. Then, Riley called it off. To add insult to injury he even used the, "It's not you, it's me," line.
So be it. If any comfort can be taken by the Democratic Party it is that this was not their screw-up. They set their sights on a good candidate and landed him, or so they thought. For Riley's part, we'll take him at his word. If he can't run for personal reasons, he can't run.
Riley generated excitement in Democratic circles and his name was frequently mentioned by the rank-and-file in the Police Department and Fire Department. He also brought some strengths to the table so-often lacking in mayoral candidates that come from the council. Riley had executive experience, moved back to Troy and rehabilitated a home in the downtown area and had a wider than usual circle of potential contributors.
Within GOP circles the news brought a sigh of relief. It's no secret that the GOP elders were worried about a Tutunjian - Riley race. Their confidence in the mayor is at an all-time low and Riley is known as a tough campaigner and quick on his feet in a verbal joust, unlike the mayor who remains the Mario Mendoza of orators. That, coupled with months of City Hall incompetence, meant a competitive race.
Now, not so much. The Democrats will have to find another candidate. It's doubtful that candidate will be someone who currently holds elected office, which may not be a bad thing.
We have no idea if this candidate exists but the Democrats may want to find:
A) a successful businessperson who knows what is needed to facilitate commercial growth;
B) someone who is articulate;
C) someone who will not govern based on the next election;
D) someone who doesn't cave when the going gets tough;