The emergence of an Independent candidate for mayor has created what looks like a three-way race for mayor after this week’s primaries.Interim Mayor Samson Steinman easily disposed of challenger James Devine in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, garnering 1,213 votes (78 percent) to Devine’s 334 votes (22 percent). Election results can be found here, and are unofficial until certified by the county clerk.
Renee Thrash, who challenged Rick Proctor in the 2010 Democratic primary, filed to run for mayor as an Independent in November’s General Election. The filing deadline for an Independent candidate was Monday.
Republican Chairman Patrick Cassio, who lost to Proctor in the 2010 General Election, garnered the required number of write-in votes in Tuesday’s primary to secure the party’s nomination. No GOP candidate had filed in March to run in the mayoral primary. “My committee decided we should run again,” Cassio said, adding that Thrash getting into the race definitely helps him and that was a factor.
In theory, one would think that if an Independent candidate were to siphon off votes from a candidate, it would be the Democrat, Steinman, rather than the Republican since Thrash ran in the 2010 Democratic primary. The three will face off in November for a full, four-year term. Steinman was appointed in September to fill the remaining two years of Rick Proctor’s term.
Steinman’s running mates for At-Large City Council seats — Jeremy Mojica, Joanna Miles and incumbent James Baker — easily defeated Devine’s running mates, Yvonne Wesley and Lisa McCormick by a similar margin of almost 4-to-1.
November’s General Election also will see a race for the remaining two years of the 6th Ward City Council seat that Steinman vacated when he was appointed mayor. Democrat Ray Giacobbe, Jr., who was appointed last fall in the interim, will face Republican John Koenig; both ran unopposed in their respective primaries.
All nine seats on the council currently are held by Democrats. The 6th Ward has been the Republican’s best opportunity at winning at a seat in recent years, having won at least once in last 15 years or so.