Angela Mansfield, a Democratic council member representing District 2 on the Northside, said she thinks the controversies surrounding Gray helped bring down Democratic fortunes in the election.
"There was some fallout to all of us," Mansfield said last week. "I don't know that (Gray) realizes it yet."
Mansfield said she initially defended Gray before the election because it appeared to her that Republicans were more interested in scoring political points than following the process set up for ethics investigations. The GOP never filed a request for an investigation after the city's ethics board found Gray guilty of failing to reveal his business relationship with a major city contractor.
But Mansfield said now she would support current council Vice President Joanne Sanders as the Democrats' new minority leader in January rather than Gray.
Sanders said she has already put out word that she wants to lead the council minority. She hesitated to say Gray hurt the Democrats, but she said "not having any baggage" is important to future leadership.
I'm pleased to see Mansfield has finally seen the light, but she would have done herself and the Democrats a big favor had she come forward about her thoughts prior to the election. Her defense for defending Gray because the Republicans were only trying to score political points as she claims simply rings hollow.
O'Shaughnessy's story confirms the rumor that Joanne Sanders will challenge Gray for the minority leader post. Gray's reaction to her challenge and Mansfield's claim that he contributed to Democratic losses on Tuesday is not surprising. "I think we carried the mayor in my district," Gray said. "Therefore I don't think I had any adverse effect on this. I won, and it wasn't even close. The people in my district approve of my work." "People were just angry with the tax situation," Gray said. "The mayor and the at-large candidates ran as a group. I think there were some mistakes made down the stretch, but it's hard to pinpoint one thing."
Sadly, the Democratic race will likely like pit the caucus' six white members, including Mansfield, Sanders, Nytes, Moriarty-Adams, Brian Mahern and Dane Mahern against the caucus' seven African-American members, including Gray, Oliver, Bateman, Pryor, Carson, Brown and Jose Evans. According to a number of observers, there has been an unspoken rule in the Democratic Party that the caucus' leader must be an African-American.