by Jim Nintzel
This week's Skinny wondered if Ward 5 Councilman Steve Leal would take the risk of challenging Mayor Bob Walkup. We now have our answer: No.
Leal has sent out a letter saying that it's just too important that he remain on the council. Without him, who knows how adrift the city could go?
Here's Leal's letter:
For some time now individuals of all political persuasions and economic means and residents of every Ward have asked me to run for Mayor. However, it is my feeling is that our City needs to remain on a steady course through this period of transition, and that my role as the senior member of our City Council is critical now, more than ever. Therefore, I will not be a candidate for Mayor this election.
In the past two years, there have been two newly elected members to the City Council and this fall there will two more. Supporters tell me that if I did not have to resign my Council seat to run for Mayor, it would not be a problem. But I do. Having to resign from my Ward 5 seat would mean that when my replacement is selected, there would be five new Council members in a two-year period.
There are a number of significant issues facing the community that require stability and continuity to better protect our community’s future.
Many think that the campaign between myself and Mayor Walkup would be great horse race. It would. And many critical issues would be debated and discussed during such a campaign. But there is too much at stake, and I feel a personal sense of responsibility to ensure that we move forward together with greater coherence during this time.
I am grateful for the outpouring of support from all corners of the community, and I look forward to continuing to serve all of Tucson.
For us political junkies, this is bad, bad news. What are we going to do without a mayor's race this year? Is there any chance Jose Ibarra might jump in?
Actually, there is one other potential candidate: Daniel Patterson, a former staffer with the Center for Biological Diversity and a member of the City Planning Commission, is now weighing a run.