The Republican candidate for mayor of Troy has dropped out of the race, leaving only one challenger running against incumbent Democrat Patrick Madden.
Republican Tom Reale announced in an email Wednesday morning that he is leaving the race for mayor less than a month before Election Day. WAMC News interviewed Reale soon after.
“Well, the circumstances of my campaign really have placed an increasing amount of strain and stress on my family. And it’s not a decision that I reached easily. There’s been a great deal of reflection and prayer involved. But I just feel like this is the best path forward for my family, given what’s happened.”
On the campaign trail, Reale touted his roots in Troy and military service. He campaigned on restoring city services, and focused on neighborhood projects like the delayed opening of the South Troy pool.
Reale said he was asked to consider running for mayor by party officials after he had initially been approached about running for city council. Asked if he faced political pressure to drop his mayoral bid, Reale declined to comment.
Reale’s exit leaves Independence party candidate Rodney Wiltshire as the sole challenger to first-term Democrat Patrick Madden. Reale would not endorse Wiltshire, the former Democratic city council president, and said Troy needs bipartisan governing.
“So in order to have good bipartisanship to ensure that everyone’s positions in the city are being considered then I think we need a commitment to having that and if we’re going to reach our full potential and come together as that one Troy that we all talk about, I think we need to see a Republican majority on the city council.”
Troy’s city council has a Democratic majority, but is led by a separately elected council president, Carmella Mantello, a Republican.
In a citywide contest, Mantello is running to keep her seat as she faces a challenge from Democrat David Bissember, a first-term city councilor.
Madden’s campaign issued a statement on Reale’s exit via email, saying:
“Running for public office is a tremendously difficult undertaking, and I commend Mr. Reale for running a positive campaign on the important issues in our community. We thank him for his service with the United States military, and wish him and his family the best in their future endeavors.”
Wiltshire said he respects and understands the reasons for Reale’s exit.
“I know that that had to have been a very difficult and hard decision to make.”
He also said there is now a new opportunity for Troy voters.
“It’s an opportunity because I am an uncontrolled candidate, if you will, I am on the Independence line so we don’t have the parties pulling strings. And I think people in Troy are really, honestly sick of the partisan politics that have divided us for too long and really have put us in the situations we’re in.”
Election Day is November 5th.