not usually well known throughout the city. At best, those whose
names are recognized outside City Hall are probably known only for
running for office every couple of years. Others I consider fringe
include those whose involvement in city business revolves almost
exclusively around one issue. Finally, among fringe candidates I'd
also include those people who seem to pop up on the public's radar
for the first time when they announce they're running for council.
Literally unheard of by anyone in or around City Hall, and a complete
stranger to virtually every voter, they are walking, talking
mysteries -- most of them remaining unsolved.
Fringe candidates often believe, or claim to believe, that sitting
council members fear seeing them elected because the newcomer will
shake things up, bringing in fresh air and long overdue change.
Right. By the same logic, Cindy Crawford dreads being trapped with me
in an elevator for hours because she's knows it would inevitably lead
to her falling in love with me, causing her to dump her husband,
destroy her family and run away with me.
In truth, sitting council members dread fringe candidates because
seeing them elected is a bit like yanking someone at random off a New
York subway car and making them your roommate for the next two years.
Naming all the candidates now is impossible, because the period
for any voter in the city to file as a candidate is open until Dec.
2. But there is always speculation about who seems to be positioning
themselves for a run, some of it even accurate.
We already know Councilman Jef Vander Borght is running. When
Vander Borght was named to replace Bob Kramer, who resigned the
council to take a city job, I think it was less than two weeks before
City Hall sources reported Vander Borght saying he had to keep in
mind that he'd be looking for support from city employee unions in
the next election. His run isn't a surprise.
If I were Howard Rothenbach, and if he does want a council seat,
I'd have already filed. Rothenbach barely survived the primary in
2001, and came in dead last in the general election. But in that race