Wednesday, December 30, 2015

EXTRA: Could racial split boost Anita?

It was a common theme I read expressed on the Internet on Wednesday; Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is despicable because it took her office two years to figure out that a cop who hit a handcuffed suspect warranted criminal charges.

Will suburban incident ...
I saw countless people use this incident to claim it as all the more evidence of why we should dump Alvarez when we get the chance come the March 15 Democratic primary.

BUT THERE ALSO was another common theme I noticed, and it is the reason I wonder if we’re going to have a whole mess of peeved voters come March 16 who are going to say they voted against Anita, only to have her get re-nominated.

... impact state's attorney's election?
For there are two challengers to Alvarez for the Democratic nomination for state’s attorney – and this threatens to become a campaign with a racial split that could see Anita get more votes than either; even if not enough to claim a voter majority.

There are some people who say Alvarez’ incompetence is all the evidence we need to justify a vote for Donna More. She seems to have some political people of electoral influence on her side, and prominent criminal attorney Sam Adams, Jr., came out publicly in her favor.

ALVAREZ: Benefits of incumbency
Yet there are other political people of an African-American racial flavor who seem to be equally vociferous in claiming that Alvarez’ incompetence is all the evidence we need to justify a vote for Kim Foxx.

FOXX IS A former chief of staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who is the big cheese giving her political backing enough to think seriously of running.

FOXX: Is Preckwinkle backing enough?
While More is a former assistant state’s attorney and prosecutor herself who can claim the potential financial support of Gov. Bruce Rauner and the other wealthy people who backed his campaign.

In short, she could have the kind of money that allows her to be competitive.

MORE: Could she be the North Side's favorite?
While I have heard some observations (which are predictable) that Foxx’ political reach doesn’t extend beyond the South and West side neighborhoods in Chicago, and perhaps those southern suburbs (Foxx herself lives these days in suburban Flossmoor) that have majority African-American populations.

THIS COULD BECOME the election where all the white people who want to dump Anita Alvarez go for More, while all the black people pick Foxx.

As for the Latino segment of the electorate, nobody is going to dominate them. Not even Alvarez, whose own background as a career prosecutor in the state’s attorney’s office who gained the top post in the 2008 election cycle makes the more activist of Latino voters suspicious.

It really could turn out that if one candidate cannot ultimately dominate the Alvarez opposition (I don’t doubt that many people upset over the death of Laquan McDonald blame her even more than they blame Mayor Rahm Emanuel), the challengers could split about 65 percent while Anita could wind up winning with about 35 percent of the vote.

And the fact that a videotape exists of suburban Lynwood police officer Brandin Frederickson cold-cocking a criminal suspect in cuffs inside the police station won’t matter all that much.


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