At last month's Democratic endorsements meeting, many supporters of Tom Ragaini's bid to run for City Council in the 2nd District "bullet voted" for Ragaini in a bid to give him a shot at the nomination.
If everything had gone exactly to plan, the result could have been a three-way tie between Ragain, incumbent Kevin McCauley and Al Marko. Had the tie held through three votes, the party chairman, Elliot Nelson, would have cast the deciding vote -- which would have gone to Ragaini by all accounts.
It was, in purely political terms, a good try.
But McCauley's backers held off the effort and Ragaini wound up on the short end of an 11-10-9 vote.
There are many who say that Mayor Art Ward was pulling for Ragaini, pushing town committee members to vote for him.
But Ward and Ragaini both deny it.
Ward said he had no idea that Ragaini planned a bullet vote effort -- even though both men admit they are allies -- and Ragaini said tonight that he never told the mayor.
"It was my idea," he said, and he pushed it himself.
I haven't heard from anyone who got strong-armed by the mayor so for now at least, I guess that's the story.
An interesting footnote, though, is that Ward apparently skipped past McCauley in the normal rotation for having councilors serve as acting mayor for a month.
Since Ward knew he would be away for the August council meeting, he may not have wanted to give McCauley the spotlight.
Making it more interesting is who he did choose to serve as acting mayor: Republican Ken Cockayne, the other 2nd District councilor.
Cockayne held his own at tonight's meeting, acting more like "Sir Ken," as Councilor Cliff Block put it, than his old persona of "Mad Dog."
Still, there are a lot of people around who expect Cockayne to make a mayoral run someday if he can survive the council race. It's possible that Ward showcased the guy who might challenge him in 2011.
Politics is an odd game, after all, and there's no telling what will happen. Heck, it's even possible that McCauley and Ward may wind up as allies.
It was only a year ago, after all, that Ward wouldn't even take Cockayne's phone calls.
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