|EDGAR: Who'd win Emanuel vs. del Valle?|
Former Gov. Jim Edgar made the news this week by stating the incredibly obvious – William Brady is too conservative socially to be acceptable to the bulk of Illinoisans.
But Edgar made another statement that may be equally obvious, albeit one that has not drawn anywhere near as much public attention – it’s going to be a long-shot for a Latino candidate to get taken seriously, even though it really shouldn’t be.
DURING A FORUM held at the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois, Edgar made it clear that he expects former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to be one of the two candidates for mayor who make it to a run-off election to be held in April.
But can Emanuel win? Edgar thinks there’s one possibility that would ensure an Emanuel defeat in the run-off – that is if he were running against a Latino candidate. He seems to think that the growing Latino population of Chicago would combine with all the people who despise the idea of Emanuel as mayor and would vote for Anybody But Rahm.
The problem with that scenario, however, is that there are two Latino candidates of significance likely to be in this campaign. Both city Clerk Miguel del Valle and former City Colleges of Chicago chairman Gery Chico have their own flaws that make it unlikely they would make it to the run-off stage.
So what is likely to occur?
AS OF NOW, we have Emanuel saying he will use a grammar school in his old congressional district to start actively campaigning for office, with former Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun and Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., saying they plan similar events this weekend to get their names out before the public.
|DEL VALLE: Can his campaign stand out?|
Next week is also the time period in which candidates for mayor will have to make their candidacies official by filing the nominating petitions to show they have enough support to warrant a spot on the ballot.
Monday will be the day that we see a rush of candidates early in the morning, all hoping they can get the top ballot spot for the Feb. 22 elections.
Which means that if Chico or del Valle are to even be in the mix, they’re going to have to cough up the petitions that they have spent recent weeks trying to prepare.
WHILE MUCH ATTENTION has been paid in recent weeks to an attempt by African-American activists, clergy and politicos to try to unite behind a single African-American mayoral candidate, there has been little attention paid to those Latino candidates – in large part because there has been no effort to try to unite Latino voters into a single bloc.
If anything, it is going to be that split in opinions that prevents any of the Latino candidates from mounting a serious challenge to finish the February election in the Top Two.
Keep in mind that things could have been worse. We could still have Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., thinking of himself as a mayoral hopeful, and there were polls taken that indicated that the bulk of Latino voters in Chicago would have looked most favorably upon a Gutierrez campaign for mayor compared to any other Latino candidate.
It makes me think that the day Gutierrez announced that he’s not going to run for mayor, preferring to remain in Congress to try to keep the issue of immigration reform alive, was the day that most Chicago political people stopped thinking of the possibility of a Latino mayor in 2011.
I’VE WRITTEN IT before, and I’ll write it again.
Del Valle, a former state legislator who was the first head of a Latino Caucus in Springfield, is a mild-mannered, serious-minded public official who likely will get lost in the political muck by the screaming that will emanate from Emanuel and his African-American challengers.
The people who are peddling stories that del Valle would back out of the race if given a significant position within the Chicago city school system are trying to thin out the ranks, with del Valle getting their attention because it is realistic to think his mild-mannered approach could be most appealing to non-Latinos if they’re in search for an alternative to Emanuel. Rahm versus Miguel would be a most-interesting run-off election.
|CHICO: Is he candidate material?|
Whereas Chico, who was a part of the Chicago Public School reform back when Paul Vallas was still highly regarded by the powers-that-be in this city, gives off an aura of somebody who ought to be a staffer, rather than an elected official.
PERHAPS HE’S THE guy whom the new mayor should consider for chief of staff – a position he once held under Richard M. Daley. It also means Chico may have been premature in resigning his most current post with the City Colleges system so as to focus on a mayoral campaign.
There’s also the fact that Emanuel’s camp a few weeks ago managed to get the support of United Neighborhood Organization CEO Juan Rangel, which probably makes him think he can get enough Latino voter support to prevent any one Latino candidate from uniting the Spanish-sympathetic masses on their own behalf.
That prospect likely lies in a future year.