This projo article on how Mayor Fung is going to hold a community forum discusses the issue of who will run against him next year. From the article:
[…] That means there might be some potential mayoral challengers among the attendees, said Michael J. Sepe, chairman of the Democratic City Committee.
“We’ll probably have someone there to respond, or to ask questions,” he said. “This will give the Democrats a good chance to get out there.”
Sepe said there are not yet any Democratic candidates for mayor, but that possible candidates include City Council President John E. Lanni Jr., and School Committee member and long-time council member Paula B. McFarland.
Lanni, who has been recovering from heart surgery, said he is keeping his options open. He is serving his fifth council term and therefore cannot run again, so running for mayor would be an option if he wants to stay in politics.
“Right now I’m in recovery mode,” he said. “I feel pretty good right now and I’m sure I’ll feel better in the future.”
McFarland, who served five council terms and is now on the School Committee, could not be reached for comment Friday.
While both John Lanni and Paula McFarland are capable and experienced leaders, neither (to my knowledge) has the deep pockets required to run a mayoral campaign in Cranston. Low estimates for the cost of a successful campaign run about $100,000. I believe both Allan Fung and former Mayor Michael Napolitano spent more than that. Just another reason why campaign finance reform — ensuring candidates can get on an equal playing field whether they are independently wealthy or not — is key to successful competitive elections.