Sen Jim Dabakis is hinting he might jump into the race for Salt Lake City Mayor against incumbent Ralph Becker. Our "Political Insider" panel has mixed feelings about whether he would have a chance in the 2015 election.
Most of the Republicans on our panel along with our readers think Dabakis would not be able to defeat Becker, however 52% of the Democrats in our survey say he might be able to take out the two-term mayor this year.
Selected anonymous comments from our panel:
"I don't think he should be a spoiler in the race. Keep to the Senate where he can do the most good.""When the candidate mentions he doesn't know if he can physically endure the rigors of a campaign he is taking himself off the list. If he has doubts who wants him? More likely is he making noise to bring attention to Biskupski's presence in the race. It worked.""Heaven help us if he does get elected. It is bad enough that he is in the legislature!""Dabakis is the Ted Cruz of local politics. He is a self-promoting clown.""Becker will be hard to beat, even though two terms as Mayor is long enough for anyone.""Dabakis's Senate District includes the Avenues neighborhood that Becker draws most his votes from. Becker knows that a lot of people in the Avenues like Dabakis more than him and so he is probably very nervous right now.""Jim would be a disaster. Couldn't run a party so he definitely won't be able to run a city (albeit Salt Lake City has a low bar as far as leadership goes). He's perfect in the senate as a nasty bomb thrower feeding the far left wing of his party. Jackie Biskupski seems like the most logical choice to replace Ralph. And he should be replaced.""Dabakis is a new face, an effective communicator, and unabashed booster for the city. It sure seems like a winning formula against an aloof, technocratic two term mayor that doesn't seem to have a signature achievement attached to his tenure.""Mayor Becker is a good administrator, but there really isn't anything exciting. I think if Dabakis can really make it an interesting campaign, and reach beyond his base, he has a shot to win this.""Jim Dabakis has proven to be an effective representative of this state. He would listen to the electorate, which would be a marked improvement over the current situation.""Dabakis has limited appeal. His theatrics will appeal to some, but the majority will prefer the less controversial Becker.""Only a damned moron would vote for that man. Dabakis is a clown and nothing more, he has no real accomplishments and the Democrat Party in Utah took giant steps backwards when he was the Chairman.""One far-left loon vs. another far-left loon. This should be fun!""He is far better placed in the legislature, where he can be an unmistakable (if sometimes loud) voice for Democrats.""Jim is amusing guy and prolific fundraiser. His entry into the race will make it more fun to watch, but he isn't disciplined enough to unseat a generally popular and capable incumbent.""Becker is likely to win but yes, Dabakis has a chance.""All he will do is hurt Jacki Biskupski.""He definitely has a chance. He is popular and he can raise a lot of money. This race may have just gotten interesting.""Jim, as usual, is just grandstanding and looking to get attention (which he will accomplish). The press will give him lots of attention, all the way up to the point where he declares, "I have decided not to run for Mayor and I will stay in the State Senate.""Never say never right?"