And if he survives the Democratic primary, depleted, his race for mayor may not be over. Former Mayor Joseph R. Paolino, Jr., whose family owns broad swaths of downtown real estate, is seriously weighing an independent run for his old job.

Paolino, of course, is a candidate with plenty of liabilities. It has been 20 years since he has held the office. He has lost races for mayor and governor in the interim. And it would be difficult for him to escape the frame of yesterday’s candidate.

But he would bring some considerable strengths to the campaign, too: experience in the mayor’s office and in the boardroom and plenty of personal wealth. He has already loaned his campaign some $500,000. And by skipping the Democratic primary, he would not have to worry about a three-way split, with Lombardi and Costantino, for the tradi-tional vote.

Indeed, for an ever-changing city, the purest test of where it hopes to land may not come until November.  

David Scharfenberg can be reached at dscharfenberg@phx.com.

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