As long as this SSP Editor (and newly minted Chicago resident) has been walking this earth, Chicago hasn’t had a mayor not named Richard M. Daley. Some thought it would never happen, but Da Mare is calling it quits:
Mayor Richard Daley says he will not run for re-election in 2011, saying it’s “time for me, it’s time for Chicago to move on.”
“The truth is I have been thinking about this for the past several months,” Daley said at a City Hall news conference that stunned the city. “In the end this is a personal decision, no more, no less.”
With the top spot in the Second City opening up for the first time in 22 years, speculation has already run rampant regarding who might throw their hat in the ring. Northwest/Southwest Side Congressman Luis Gutierrez is already forming an exploratory committee, while West Side Congressman Danny K. Davis won’t rule anything out just yet.
The 800-(fuckin’)-pound gorilla in the fuckin’ room, of course, is Rahm Emanuel, who represented a chunk of the North Side-based 5th district and had made his mayoral ambitions public awhile ago. But with even Rahmbo’s successor in Congress, Mike Quigley, saying that Rahm isn’t a shoo-in (among others, including South Side Congressmen Bobby Rush and Jesse Jackson Jr.), this race just may prove to be the hottest ticket around after November. (Quigley and JJJr. also haven’t ruled out runs, either.)
Other candidates floated include Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, outgoing Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan, North Side state Rep. John Fritchey, South Side state Sen. James Meeks, Circuit Court Clerk (and failed Cook County Board President candidate and ’07 mayoral candidate) Dorothy Brown, and two North Side Cook County Commissioners – Bridget Gainer (10th) and Forrest Claypool (12th, who’s also running as an indie for Cook County Assessor).
A host of Aldermen and former Aldermen (our term for City Councilpeople) are also rumored to be interested, including Manny Flores (formerly 1st Ward – Logan Square/Wicker Park), Bob Fioretti (2nd – South Loop/Near West Side), Leslie Hairston (5th – Hyde Park/Grand Crossing), JJJr.’s wife Sandi Jackson (7th – South Shore/Calumet Heights), Ed Burke (14th – Brighton Park/Gage Park), Scott Waguespack (32nd – Bucktown/Roscoe Village), Tom Allen (38th – Portage Park), Brendan Reilly (42nd – River North/Loop) and Tom Tunney (44th – Lakeview/Boystown). For what it’s worth, a third member of the Jackson family – JJJr.’s son Jonathan – has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.
If I’ve thrown enough neighborhood/area names in to confuse you, here’s a ward map I made, and the City’s official neighborhood map (pdf).
(And because I can’t get enough digs in on Todd Stroger, who knows, the soon-to-be former Cook County Board President – who finished 4th in his primary with 14% in February – might even be delusional enough to run!)
No mention of this race would be complete without a mention of the racial divisions present here. Chicago’s voting-age population, as of 2000, was 36.7% non-Hispanic White, 33.8% non-Hispanic Black, 22.8% Hispanic, and 4.7% Asian; leaders in both the Hispanic and Black communities have stated that they will be represented in the field. There’ll also be a divide between the pro-Daley loyalists and anti-Daley reformists, especially among white voters, probably between the younger “lakefront liberals” and the old-school machine pols on the Northwest/Southwest Sides. (Knowing nothing about the field right now, this Lakefront Lib would love to vote for Claypool, but would also happily vote for Gainer or Waguespack.)
Under Chicago’s quirky off-year municipal election calendar, petitions are due betwen November 15 and 22, with the primary election on February 22, 2011 and the general (i.e. runoff) between the top two vote-getters six weeks later on April 5 should no one receive 50% +1. With Daley – and many of his allies on the Chicago City Council – heading for the exits (and promotion-seeking Aldermen not running for re-election), one thing is certain: Chicago’s political landscape will be quite different come next April.
Update: A few more names I’ve seen bandied about: City Clerk Miguel del Valle, and Ald. Joe Moore (49th – Rogers Park/West RP). All the candidates highlighted here are Democrats…there’s 1 Republican (of 50) on the Chicago City Council, Brian Doherty (41st – Edison Park/O’Hare), and even he’s a close Daley ally.
Update 2: Even more candidates rumored, two of the Daley family: Da Mare’s brother William Daley, and his son Patrick Daley. More state officials include outgoing comptroller (and failed gubernatorial candidate) Dan Hynes and Attorney General (and daughter of state House Speaker Mike) Lisa Madigan. There’s also Cook County ClerkDavid Orr (who briefly served as mayor after Harold Washington’s death), former State Senate Majority Leader Emil Jones, and Ald. Gene Schulter (47th – North Center/Lincoln Square).