And then there were five...
Five officially announced candidates for mayor of Racine, that is. Jim Spangenberg, 13th District Alderman, joined four others who have filed a declaration of candidacy for the post abandoned last Tuesday by Gary Becker after his arrest -- was it just two weeks ago? -- on child sexual enticement charges.
Spangenberg joins two other aldermen -- the 11th District's Greg Helding and the 4th District's Jim Kaplan -- one former alderman, Pete Karas, and Jody Harding of the Racine Taxpayers Association who have officially entered the race.
Other aldermen who have said they are considering running include Q.A. Shakoor II of the 8th District and District 5 Alderman and Council President David Maack.
And then there's Rep. Cory Mason, who would bring another dimension to the race. Certain bloggers, by the way, have said that Mason can't run, because of a new policy adopted by Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan prohibiting state representatives from raising campaign funds during consideration of the state budget., which is sure to overlap the campaign period of a mayoral race.
We looked into that and learned -- from Phillip Walvak, communication director for the Speaker's office -- that the change in the State Assembly's policy manual prohibits the raising of campaign funds for future Assembly races. "The intent was never to make it impossible for them to hold a non-partisan other office," Walvak said. "It's just a policy that the Assembly will impose on itself for candidates' re-election bids for the State Assembly."
With that out of the way, Mason still hasn't decided. He did say, however, that his new baby, Eleanor Roosevelt Mason, born on Dec. 26, isn't sleeping enough yet to give him time to consider much of anything. He's got time; the City Council won't formally set the election date for any mayoral race until Feb. 3 at the earliest.