Mayor Scott Avedisian is running for re-election and he may face a contest after all.
Although he held a fundraiser earlier this year, signaling that he would likely be a candidate for office, he never made a formal declaration; fostering speculation that he might throw his hat into a race other than that for mayor. This week, in an email, he said he would file his declaration for re-election on Monday, followed by a series of announcements prior to July 4.
And Jack Kirby, who four years ago ran as a Democrat, and in 2012 as an independent, said Tuesday he would run again as a Democrat, whether he gets the party’s endorsement or not.
Two years ago in a one-on-one race with Avedisian, Kirby captured 18.41 percent of the vote. In 2000, as a Democrat, he garnered 19.69 percent.
“I tested the waters and it wasn’t the way to go,” he said of his run as an independent.
He may not be the only Democrat thinking of taking on Avedisian. After winning a special election in 2000, when then mayor Lincoln Chafee was named to complete the term of his late father, Senator John Chafee in 1999, Avedisian has consistently won the favor of Warwick voters by comfortable margins ever since. Speculation circulated Tuesday that another Democrat would step forward, although no names have been mentioned. Kirby has heard he could face a primary, but that doesn’t faze him.
“A primary wouldn’t be the worst thing,” he said.
But, while the mayor’s race is showing some signs of life, there’s little talk of City Council or School Committee contests.
In comparison to other years, Donna McDonald, Warwick director of elections, said she hadn’t had the flurry of inquiries that usually precede the declaration deadline, which is 4 p.m. next Wednesday.
“It’s kind of eerie,” she said yesterday.
Robert Farrell, chairman of the Democratic City Committee, said he had heard Kirby was thinking of running as a Democrat. The committee met last night to endorse candidates.
When asked if they would be endorsing Kirby, Farrell said, “We’ll bring it up for discussion. It’s unfortunate people who want to run every two years only show up every two years.”
Farrell has heard a few rumors, too, although he didn’t provide names. He thought Charles Donovan Jr. might face a primary in Ward 7, and he had heard Democrats Donna Travis, Ward 6, and Camille Vella-Wilkinson, Ward 3, could also face Democratic challengers.
There has been speculation Ward 5 Councilman Ed Ladouceur would make a run for mayor as a Democrat.
Ladouceur said he has been asked that question but he has no plans to run at this time.
“I am enjoying this job, and feel that I am making a difference for the people of Ward 5 and for the city. The encouragement and the support I have been receiving, especially this last year, has been very motivating for me,” he said in an email.
The word is that all the incumbents will seek re-election and that most will go unchallenged.
The biggest contest, and that won’t be decided until January, may be for Council President. Travis holds the post, however, she has less than solidarity from her Democratic colleagues.