This is nuts. The mecurial Mr Dowd is going to announce? I think it might be worthwhile to put on our Chris Briem hats and try to speculate what will happen.
First, which Pat Dowd will show up to campaign? The earnest door knocker who listens to each constituent? Or the guy who stands up at the Council table and argues that other Council members should not get paid for their legal bills (even though they were helping Dowd out with that Lamar sign appeal) because they didn’t ask for money ahead of time?
Second, I am worried that the one thing Dowd won’t do is attack Ravenstahl on his record of personal ethical mistakes, that Dowd will run a high minded, clean campaign as far as this goes. Remember, voters were much more worried about whether Obama was/is a communist Muslim pointy headed professor-type than whether we actually need to enforce banking regulations.
Third, $2000 against $800,000?
And finally, and here is where we need to put on our Briem caps, does anyone remember the special election in Council District 7 that occurred when Ferlo went off to Harrisburg as a State Senator? The one that first put Len Bodack into Council? There was a special election and a primary shortly there after, and multiple candidates in at least one of those. Bodack, I believe, had the ACDC endorsement and his father had been a State Senator for a long time. Still, Bodack only won a plurality, but that was enough to propel him into office. For the current race, Dowd could (theoretically) win the DeSantis vote for the primary, which is to say Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and some progressive corridor of Highland Park. Carmen Robinson could split the African American vote with Ravenstahl (or even take it all). If Ravenstahl takes everything else, that will be enough. Two candidates running against the Mayor means the “Anyone but Luke” vote, to the extent it exists, could be split. Maybe Shields or Peduto will campaign for Dowd (although I suspect the have reason not to like him), but in doing so they would only cut their own throats politically.
When is the next Mayoral election after this one, in 2013? How’d we get on such a weird schedule? Anyway, could Dowd be positioning himself for a future run? Only if Ravenstahl moves into Onorato’s spot as Onorato moves into Rendell’s spot. But Dowd could lose his Council seat in the meantime. Remember that he beat Bodack by only 80 some votes last time (and received a call from Howard Dean for his effort, a sort of dubious endorsement). Bodack could run again, pointing out that Bodack had never abandoned District 7 to run for Mayor (although District 7 abandoned Bodack).