Submitted November 4, 2011
I don't know anybody who knows Tom Leighton who doesn't like him personally. I have seen some of his relatives who have different names than his recently, appealing to the people in various papers to vote for Tom. They have a right to feel that way. Tom Leighton is not a bad guy and his term as Mayor has not been too bad.
I would prefer that Tom not run for a third term as all cities and countries and states need to have a break from politicians so that new blood may enter the arena and perhaps the new blood might be more in tune with the thinking of the people. But Tom should have a right to run. And I know many people who love Tom Leighton and think he is the best for Wilkes-Barre. He is not a bad man. He is in fact, a good man. Whether he is a good mayor is for the people to decide. Elections are up to the people. So, let me say that if Tom Leighton is elected Mayor for the third time, the worst we can imagine will not happen to Wilkes-Barre. Tom is a good enough man to see to that.
In the primary election, Lisa Cope won on the Republican side of an arduous primary, and after months passed, all of a sudden Betsy Summers, a Libertarian candidate, out of nowhere, showed up to help in the foray to unelect Tom Leighton. No matter who Lisa Cope is, as I see it, she won the primary fair and square. Betsy Summers may be a great person and may be the best Mayor the City of Wilkes-Barre could ever have. That is a big long shot. I just do not like how she appeared out of no-place and without going through the primary, she was able to gain equal status to Lisa Cope, who jumped through hoop after hoop after hoop. I know how tough it is to run against the establishment and for a person to appear in the eleventh hour, from where I sit is simply not fair.
So, whether you like Tom Leighton as many do and many do not, the Tom Leighton I know would more than likely agree with me that an incumbent mayor of two-terms would not want to go against a split vote in which he would surely win. It is not a competitive event. Tom Leighton is a good man and he knows that if the people think it is time for him to rest, he will accept the signal. If the citizens of Wilkes-Barre who do not like Tom Leighton believe they are voting for the anti-Leighton, they certainly cannot vote for Betsy Summers because she is the anti-Leighton anti-Leighton, and those who attended WB schools know a double negative is a positive. If you are voting for Tom Leighton, regardless, then the rest of this note does not apply.
As I said, Tom Leighton is not even close to being a bad man. But, for those of you who will not vote for Tom Leighton no matter what I say, positive or negative, or what anybody else says, my recommendation is that you vote for a candidate who did the work to run in the primary in which she and Tom Leighton competed and won. When Betsy Summers appeared on the scene, I got these thoughts that there was an anti-Leighton, anti-Leighton. Maybe I am wrong. So, if you are anti-Leighton, cast you vote for Lisa Cope, the only anti-Leighton without getting into double negatives. If you are anti-Leighton, anti-Leighton, cast your vote for Tom Leighton as he deserves your vote. If you are for Tom Leighton, then by all means, cast your vote for Tom Leighton. You have already made up your mind, I suspect. At the very least, no matter who your favorite is, please vote for somebody because that is what democracy is all about.