At the American Legion Post 80 in Binghamton, New York, local business owner Ed Hickey made it official. With a crowd of some 125 supporters and friends, Ed Hickey announced his intention to run for Mayor of the City of Binghamton as a Republican, and with the Eagle Party that he helped create.
Ed Hickey is a father of 3 and the owner of 2 bars in Binghamton – Fitzie’s Pub and The Belmar. He is also well known for his charitable donations and annual events like the 2010 Red Bull skateboarding competition and the 2009 BMX Challenge which draw hundreds into the Binghamton downtown area from across Broome County and further. Hickey, as he stated to the crowd, is a near life-long member of the community, and anything but a politician. Even so, his answers to the questions of the assembled news media left little doubt to the direction that he wants to take Binghamton.
Ed Hickey didn’t just draw news media attention. Among the 125 that we counted were a collection of Democrats, Republicans, and Independants. The ages ranged from more than a few babies, young adults in their 20’s, to retirees. Almost every ethnicity and any other demographic used to identify the residents of the City of Binghamton were apparently represented in the event. Whether this was due to the appeal of Ed Hickey or the Eagle Party – a political party created as a union of Left and Right wing ideals (the slogan of which is “It takes a Left and Right wing to soar”) – or a combination of both is unclear at this moment, but it is sure to catch the attention of Democrats and Republicans alike.
Ultimately, almost all other news media left the venue before Ed Hickey spoke to the assembled supporters. The complete speech by Ed Hickey can be seen exclusively here, without edit of that speech.
With this announcement, the pressure has increased for Democrats with current Mayor Matt Ryan unable to run due to term limit restrictions. Republicans are also faced with the question of backing Hickey or presenting another candidate (possibly Rich David) – which could mean a Primary battle as well as still potentially having a 3-way race in November. No matter what the major political parties decide, it is clear that the presumed underdog of the race holds an enviable position with regard to diversity among voters, if the supporters at the event are any indication of the appeal of Ed Hickey.
The one thing that voters and constituents of the City of Binghamton can be assured of, is that the summer will be anything but boring.