Following current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election, candidates have frantically been looking to take the place of the much maligned incumbent. A wide range of candidates have submitted petition signatures to join the race, touching off a heated round of challengers to their validity.
In this latest round of an old-trick in Chicago politics, candidates scrambled to meet a deadline to make the challenges in an attempt to knock out competitors they see as likely to take potential votes from them.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle challenged no less than five other candidates, including Comptroller Susana Mendoza. Candidate Ja’Mal Green challenged two other African American candidates, and Jerry Joyce challenged the signatures of former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s brother Bill.
As the 21 candidates wrangle for position, no clear front runner has emerged. While Preckwinkle garnered the endorsement of the Chicago Teachers Union, many consider attorneys Jerry Joyce and John Kozlar as ‘insiders’ who may have a good shot at the mayorship, with Joyce getting first spot on the ballot, and Kozlar last one, both considered preferable positions due to voters’ attention.
Meanwhile, Bill Daley made waves with controversial remarks at the Chicago City Club Wednesday, proposing a commuter tax to pay for the city’s huge pension budget shortfall. When asked if he thought that would drive businesses away from Chicago, his response was “I don’t think so.”
Chicagoans head to the polls on February 26th to select their next mayor and City Council. Chicago News will continue to follow the election, check back for updates at mychinews.com/politics