After a long search, the leadership of the Republican City Committee has found a candidate to run for mayor whose name is not John Featherman. Karen Brown just told us that GOP chairman Vito Canuso and party general counsel Michael Meehan talked her into running for mayor. If Brown's name sounds familiar, that may be because she is a Democratic City Committee member. And a candidate as a Democrat for the 1st District Council seat. And a candidate as a Democrat for an at-large Council seat.
This is shaping up to be a fascinating election year.
Brown said Canuso and Meehan have been "courting me for some time" and noted that she has long had cordial relations with the Republican Party, even though she has been a Democrat since Jimmy Carter was president.
"They asked me to run," Brown said after meeting with Canuso and Meehan this morning. "They think it's time for a woman. I agree with them."
Brown said she has been frustrated that the local Democratic Party has not been supportive of her twin campaigns for Council, after she spent years helping to elect other candidates.
"I'm a serious candidate," she declared, although she doesn't plan to register as a Republican until later today. "If the Democrats won't have me and the Republicans will, that's the way I'll make a difference."
Canuso confirmed that the GOP will be circulating nominating petitions for Brown for mayor. She needs at least 1,000 valid signatures from registered Republicans in the city by Tuesday.
"She's very enthusiastic," Canuso said. "She's very experienced in campaigns. She was running two. Now she's running one."
Meehan has said it is "highly unlikely" the party will endorse Featherman, who entered the race in June and has complained about the lack of vibrancy in the local GOP.
Featherman said he met with Canuso and Meehan yesterday and thought the party might be moving closer to accepting his candidacy. Then Canuso called him today to tell him about Brown getting into the race.