Right now there are nine players in the mayoral race. And they all want to pitch.
Lori Lightfoot entered the race officially last week. She’s a former federal prosecutor and Daley pal and then Rahm pal, who first came on the scene supposedly in 1989 when she blocked Baker and McKenzie law firm from recruiting on University of Chicago campus because one of its partners had allegedly used “racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic comments” while interviewing a student. So she knows how to work that race card.
She’s also married to a gal named Amy. Looks like she’s got the African American lesbian vote all sewn up and she’s only been in the race a week.
We still have another nine months to election day in February. And probably more candidates tossing their hats in the ring as well. It’s beginning to look like the top two finalists heading into a runoff could get there with as little as 11% of the vote each.
Five out of those nine candidates are black, the rest are white, and not one Hispanic in the race. Those five African Americans are going to have to all try and capture the African American vote, their base. That’s identity politics in Chicago. You gotta have a base.
What the hell kind of “base” does Rahm Emanuel have? The scoundrel base as far as I can see.
When Paul Vallas announced a few weeks ago, a reporter asked him “Who is your base?”
Vallas says his base is anybody who went to or worked the Chicago Public School system when he was running it.
With this many candidates in the race nobody can claim to have a “base”. But that won’t last.
Back in 2011 there were 20 people running for Mayor at one time, before the group was decimated by a variety of factors. Those same factors will cull the field by November.
For starters, can all those who have declared as candidates put together enough required legit signatures on petitions? They’ll need about fifty thousand each if they want to withstand the signature challenges that are sure to come.
And they better raise significant dough because Rahm has plenty. Some reports put the tiny dancer’s war chest at almost ten million already. That’s impressive.
He’s gonna need it too, because the one thing everybody else can point to is Rahm Emanuel’s record. Lots of people murdered in Chicago during his tenure. That’s NOT impressive.
Either way, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
Stop by Ken’s Restaurant, 10522 S. Western Ave, Chicago, next Saturday May 26th from 2:30-5PM and I’ll be reading from my book on the last election, NOTHIN’S ON THE SQUARE. Buy my book if you want to know the rest of the story. Here! Or on this website for an autographed copy sent by priority mail.