You thought the campaign to see who is going to be the Republican presidential nominee was long? Just get a load of the campaign for North Riverside mayor. This will match it.

How do we know? Because the 2013 North Riverside mayoral campaign has already started.

Late last month, Mayor Ken Krochmal tucked a couple of paragraphs into the end of his welcome letter in the village’s periodic newsletter. After remarking that H.H. Gregg had opened, that the village was going to replacing all of the old water meters and that the newsletter was a font of useful information, Krochmal let the other shoe drop – he’s not going to run for a second term.

Of course, the campaign began last year when former trustee candidate George Georgopoulos announced he would be running in 2013 and set up a website. His first shot across the bow was a petition challenge to a bond issue the village was contemplating to pay the debt service on a 2009 bank loan and to pay for the new water meter program.

His challenge was successful, but the village short-circuited his efforts to bring the matter to a vote by simply using another debt instrument – debt certificates, which come with a higher interest rate – to make those things happen.

Georgopoulos told us Monday that DeSantis asked him to bow out of the race and clear the field for DeSantis to challenge the VIP the way he did so successfully in 2011. DeSantis says he never said any such thing and that he hasn’t made up his mind about running yet.

But judging from the piece DeSantis posted on his own website in response to Krochmal’s newsletter announcement, he sure sounds like a candidate. Look for push-back from the VIP in response.

While nominating petitions for local elections can’t even be circulated until the fall, this horse race has started. There’s a crack in the VIP facade and its opponents are rushing in to make it wider.