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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Commissioner, er, Mayor Urban?

A few have asked me if I think Mayor Tom Leighton will seek a third term in 2011.

I could call him and ask him, but I’m sure I’d get his usual non-committal answer of “You never know.”

You could make a case against his doing so. He’s got 20 years in as a councilman and mayor, so his pension is locked in. In addition, his executive assistants have all left for other opportunities, giving one the impression that they were getting out in advance of a change of administrations.

Plus, some have said that his poor showing in his own city against John Yudichak in the most recent state senatorial race points to a growing electoral vulnerability. No matter his intentions, City Hall is in for a shake-up in 2011.

This Times Leader story--Two eye W-B council chair, but also have sights elsewhere--points out that District C Councilwoman Kathy Kane covets the controller position, since our current controller claims he’s stepping down.

And it also goes on to clearly suggest that District A Councilman, Rick Cronauer, has his sights set on a vacant magisterial position. If all of that holds true, at the very least, we’ll have a new controller as well as two new council folks.

Personally, I always figured Kathy Kane to be the heir apparent to Tom Leighton at the top of the city’s political heap. But with her stating a desire to be the next city controller, that hints that Leighton will indeed be seeking a third term as mayor.

If Tom Leighton does run again, who might his challengers be?

Supposedly, the Luzerne County GOP is all resurgent and energized these days. But I doubt that parlays into any challengers toting serious name recognition, proven fund-raising capabilities or a prior groundswell of support.

On the Democrat side of the aisle, one name keeps gnawing at me.

The name of a person who will be out of a decent-paying political job at the conclusion of 2011. A person who some purport will seek a poorly-paying seat on our soon-to-be-seated Luzerne County Council (an idea that I just do not buy into). A person who recently spurned the Republican camp in favor of the Democrat party in a heavily Democrat county and city.

A person by the name of Steve Urban, perhaps? Maybe?

Whatever the case may be, we'll have to wait for February 15th--the first day candidates can circulate and file nomination petitions--to find out.

Anyway, I’m just wondering aloud.


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