EDWIN Santiago or EdSa, of course, is the man to beat in this city's mayoralty race in 2019, if you go by the parameters or paradigm of local politics. For one, as the incumbent, pundits concede to him 20 percent of the votes. The city has around 150,000 voters. Do a little math, and that explains EdSa's brand of calmness that some critics label as similar to being sedate, if not downright complacent.
Being the incumbent gives him additional, if exclusive, advantages on resources and other materiel to boost his campaign. Sorry, folks. It's the way it has been since politics entered the human race. Former US President Ronald Reagan mistook politics as the oldest profession. Almost quite like it, perhaps.
He is reportedly propped up by the province's leading politicians who are believed to be willing to move heaven and earth to make him win his third bid for the city hall. That's formidable and makes him an odds-on-choice. If you're a wise wager, you know whom to bet on.
If the city's awards are enough to go by, it appears that the city has risen a notch or two higher on good governance. Obviously, he has built on the legacy of his predecessor who has gone to pasture ostensibly.
But wait. That predecessor is reportedly supporting EdSa's lone rival who has blown into the city's political scene like a storm, maybe not a perfect one. Yet. Most everyone thinks she will give EDSA a run for his money, and potentially run him out of office. A predecessor of his predecessor is also in the loop, if not in the hoop, according to sources.
Why that immediate predecessor is not contesting the previous position is understandable. There's a saying in the vernacular that if you blow the chaff on the mortar, you end up with a dirty face. The other predecessor may have less money to match EdSa's war chest. Inflation must have caught up.
With two of EdSa's predecessors cheering for the gutsy upstart, he has a real fight coming. Remember the adage: Hell hath no fury like woman scorned. He, EdSa, could end up not only seatless but speechless, given the phenomenal impact already on the speech ability of some local media.
Indeed, the young lady's challenge cannot be dismissed. She could be the proverbial black swan.
Aware, if not alarmed, by the threat, EdSa is battening down his rooftop by getting his current vice as his running mate again. The net effect is that the tandem will wrestle with two women. Caution: You don't fight women with words or you'll regret it.
The bigger picture is whether a new mayor or the old one will be better for the city.
That's worthy of another column, later on, preferably after the polls. I don't want to unnecessarily rain on the parade of anybody at this time.