Rick Rushton announced today that he wouldn’t run for mayor this fall, ending (15) months of speculation, dating to when he lost the last election to Mayor Konnie Lukes.
As of Friday, Rushton hadn’t finalized his decision…or so he told Worcester Magazine, saying he was weighing his options.
So what changed? And what caused Rushton to issue (what appears to be) a last-minute Monday statement to the Telegram for Tuesday’s paper?
The timing may be key here. For a year, Mayor Lukes and others have criticized Rushton for never stopping his mayoral campaign, even after he lost. It’s become a popular refrain for Rushton critics whenever he does something unpopular or contrary: “Oh, it’s just Rick running for mayor still.”
So by officially declaring himself out of the mayoral race, Rushton takes that criticism out of play, allowing him to debate Lukes and others on the floor without the “mayor thing” being used as an excuse.
We wouldn’t be surprised to reference his own move on the floor tonight if he goes after Lukes for her planned out-of-town retreat, as expected.