Go out of town for a few days, and look what happens — 18 people file treasurer’s reports to run for mayor in May. 18? Imagine how many there would be be if the mayor actually had significant power instead of a title and a really neat office.

The story outlining who has raised how much money doesn’t contain too many surprises, though it is interesting that two candidates — construction boss Tom Leppert and former councilman Max Wells — have already raised more than one-half million dollars each. That’s a lot of money for this early in the campaign, and it also makes me wonder how messy the campaign will get. That money has to be spent, and generally that means negative TV ads. It’s difficult to do a million bucks worth of yard signs.

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