As we await Mayor Don Plusquellic's official word on his decision to seek an 8th term, Democratic Party insiders who know him best say there is a troublesome element delaying that decision. It is his concern about the growing faction on City Council with its roots firmly planted in opposing his agenda.
Some of that anti-Plusquellic opposition has shown itself in failed primary election challenges to him. The most recent one was from Councilman-at-large Michael
Williams, a Democrat whose ambition to run the city from the mayor's office has not waned. Since then, others have been seated in City Council who share their personal disdain for the mayor. Among them: Councilwoman-at-large Linda Omobien, Ward 6 Councilman Bob Hoch, Ward 4 Councilman Russel C.Neal Jr, Ward 5 Councilwoman Tara Mosley-Samples, and possibly another.
The faction, I'm told, still doesn't add up to a majority on the 13-member council, but it could stymie the mayor in his talks with companies interested in doing business in the city by weakening his image as a leader who can deliver what he promises
"The issue is what keeps him up at night," one source told me. Nevertheless, the source, as well as others, all agree that he will seek office again.
Over the years, Plusquellic has effectively demonstrated his ability to ward off all comers, and would do so again. As with Williams, a dissenting Democrat is likely to turn up in the party primary. (Republican challengers never make a dent.)
My hunch is that he will eventually call in the media and declare his candidacy because he's not one to run from a fight. And at 65, he's still defiantly young enough to step back into the ring. We hope so. There remains a need.