Could David Norris still become the next President?
INDEPENDENT senator David Norris still wants to be president and his former campaign manager is urging him to get back in the race.
The senator has sparked fresh speculation about a possible return to the presidential election campaign by acknowledging his continued strong public support in opinion polls.
Mr Norris dramatically dropped out of the presidential election a month ago in the wake of revelations he made representations for his former partner, who was convicted of statutory rape.
But his former campaign co-ordinator Liam McCabe told the Irish Independent the senator still wanted to be president and it was "his decision to make".
Mr McCabe called the senator to tell him of the result of an opinion poll showing one in three voters wanted him to run, and almost one in five still backed him.
"He was pleasantly surprised. I know he was extremely humbled. The senator wants to be president as much today as in March when he launched his campaign," he said.
Mr McCabe said he had not directly asked the senator if he intended to run again.
"I would only be speculating about that," he said.
"My personal view is that is a decision only he can make."
Mr Norris is currently out of the country and is expected back this weekend before the return of the Seanad next week.
Candidates need either 20 TDs and senators or four local authorities to nominate them for the position.
Mr McCabe said there were three requirements for a presidential run: to want it, to have the support, to get a nomination. He said Mr Norris met the first two criteria.
"The senator's desire to become the president hasn't changed one bit," he said.
"The only way he is going to get back in the race is if he is going to get a nomination. Why shouldn't he be in the race? My view has always been let the people decide," he said.
At the weekend, Mr Norris acknowledged his continued strong support from the public after an opinion poll showed one in three people wanted him to re-enter the race.
"Senator Norris is greatly heartened by and appreciates the continued support being shown to him by the Irish public," he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Independent candidate Sean Gallagher got off the blocks yesterday by securing his first two official nominations -- from Leitrim County Council and Meath County Council.
Fellow Independent Mary Davis received her second formal nomination from Sligo County Council.