How optimistic is city council candidate Tony Ceoffe Jr. about the upcoming March 6 party endorsement?
Judging by a website we stumbled across -- http://www.wix.com/ceoffej/tony -- he's pretty optimistic. And he's dreaming of support from some heavy-hitters in the community as well.
Ceoffe's site -- which for reasons that will become clear, will be unavailable by the time you read this -- popped up on the bottom of the first page of Google results when we searched the phrase "Tony Ceoffe for council."
(Update: as of Mar. 4, a cached version of the site was available.)
Ceoffe is challenging incumbent Patrick Dowd in City Council District 7, which includes Lawrenceville, Highland Park, and Stanton Heights. The party endorsement in that and other races will be held this Sunday. But the site already listed Ceoffe as being endorsed by the party committee.
In a section marked "community leaders," the site seems to anticipate backing from state Senator Jim Ferlo, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, and Lauren Byrne -- who took the reins at community group Lawrenceville United from Ceoffe's father. All three sound a little tongue-tied: Each is quoted saying merely "blah blah blah."
Ceoffe is widely considered to be Ravenstahl's favored candidate in the race; Dowd has been a thorn in the mayor's side. But in January, Ceoffe told us that his "number-one goal is to be an advocate for the people of this district, not be a rubber stamp for one faction of council or another."
When City Paper called Ceoffe for comment this evening, he sounded genuinely surprised that the website was visible. He pledged to look into it and call us back -- which he did within 5 minutes.
Ceoffe told his his younger brother had been "working over ideas on layout for a website, so when we did create one, we would have a running start." Ceoffe says the content was merely dreamt up by his brother for layout purposes, and that his brother thought the page was being saved as a draft until they paid to register the domain.
"He's trying to get that down because it really has no business being up there," Ceoffe says. "I haven't even been thinking too much about a website, because I've been concentrating on and working toward getting the [party] endorsement."
In any case, he says, he hasn't sought support from Ravenstahl or other officials, because the endorsement is still in the air. And he isn't taking the party's backing for granted.
"That's my first step because without the endorsement, I'm not running."