Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Richards' campaign off to a slow start

Posted by on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 2:45 PM

When is Mayor Tom Richards going to join this campaign? Lovely Warren, City Council president and Richards’ likely opponent in a September primary, is active on Twitter at #lovelyformayor, and Facebook. She’s making appearances and holding events; she has two scheduled for Thursday, one to talk about education and an evening fund raiser at a Central Avenue nightclub.

Tom Richards.

Richards got the Democratic endorsement, but right now, Warren’s got the mojo. As far as I can tell, Richards doesn’t even have a complete, properly functioning campaign website up and running.

I get the feeling that Richards isn’t really into campaigning. He didn’t become a politician until a few years ago, having spent most of his career in the private sector. But his campaign team should tell him that the old logic that races don’t heat up until summer winds down is obsolete. Warren is laying track. When the public really starts paying attention, her campaign will be oiled, tuned, and ready to hit its stride. Where will Richards be? Remember, he didn’t win the Democratic endorsement by a giant margin; more than 40 percent of the citywide weighted vote went to Warren.

Of course, Richards is starting off with much more money than Warren, so Warren has to hustle to be competitive. And as the chosen candidate, Richards will have the party machine and its resources behind him.

You can reasonably argue that being mayor every day is, essentially, campaigning; it’s a high-profile job. And Richards has probably been extra busy given that it’s budget season — along with the myriad other tasks and obligations that come with leading the city.

But humbly, Mr. Mayor, I do believe you’re making a mistake. You need to get moving.

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