Friday, March 1, 2019

Latino vote could decide mayor, but will enough care to cast run-off ballots?

For voters who wanted to see either Mendoza … 
I remember the sight some several decades ago of a man at City Hall, clad in a gaudy sarape and sombrero, creating the stereotypical image of a Mexican, who was chanting over and over, “We break the tie.”

As in white voters and black voters in Chicago potentially equaling each other out, and the Latino segment of the city being the factor that would decide who would win political election in Chicago.
… or Chico as alcalde/mayor, … 

ARE WE DESTINED to see repeats of such images in coming weeks, as Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle fight it out in an April 2 run-off election to determine who gets to take over as mayor for Rahm Emanuel?

Because some political observers are pointing out that the parts of Chicago that didn’t really favor either Lightfoot or Preckwinkle in Tuesday’s elections are the precincts in the Latino-oriented neighborhoods.

Where the mayoral election was perceived as a brawl by Susana Mendoza and Gery Chico – and the other dozen candidates were perceived as after-thoughts.
… will either Toni … 

Meaning it is a significant segment of Chicago (where the Latino population comprises about 30 percent of the city) that could decide the run-off election outcome.

BUT WILL IT be a decision because one of the two mayoral hopefuls is able to sway the sentiment of Latino voters? Or will it be a decision made because many Latino voters will simply decide the run-off isn’t worth their time and trouble to go out and cast a ballot?

A study by the Center for Illinois Politics pointed out how Tuesday’s turnout wasn’t that great anywhere in Chicago, but was even worse in the Spanish-speaking enclaves of the city.

The city had a 34 percent voter turnout on Tuesday, which was barely larger than the record low of 33 percent back in the mayoral election of 2007 (which was an election that sent Richard M. Daley back to the mayor’s post for like the millionth time).
… or Lori hold political appeal?

In the Latino-oriented wards of Chicago (won mostly by Mendoza, although Chico took the 10th Ward), there was 27 percent voter turnout this time around.

IT WOULD SEEM that Latino voters just couldn’t get themselves all excited about voting in this mess of an electoral cycle. Which hurt any chance that Susana would be giving up her Illinois comptroller post to become mayor anytime soon.

Will there suddenly be a sense of enthusiasm developing amongst Latino voters for either candidate? Will Latinos suddenly gain the long-ago expressed sense of enthusiasm that the new mayor (whether Lightfoot or Preckwinkle) will feel indebted to Latino interests because “we” gave them the majority of votes?

Or will it merely turn into apathy, which further creates the impression that the deciding factor will be all those people who voted for William Daley’s mayoral campaign?
Will we see the bandito image, … 

The ones who probably cast their votes that way out of a sentiment of NOT wanting to see either Lightfoot or Preckwinkle prevail. The thought of having to “pick one” could be repellant-enough to make them not want to vote at all.

DESPITE THE THOUGHTS being expressed by some that Preckwinkle could prevail because many will perceive Toni – the two-term Cook County Board president and former Hyde Park neighborhood alderman – as someone who has been a part of the political establishment.
… or hear we're finally ready for reform

Meaning she’s someone they could “work with.” As opposed to Lightfoot, the former federal prosecutor who might still carry a prosecutorial attitude toward government about her. Which I’m sure is what some potential voters think is exactly what is needed in Chicago.

So what is going to be the prevailing theme of the April 2 run-off; are we going to get a guy in a sarape, sombrero y huaraches, looking like a Frito Bandito reject while trying to tell Latinos that it’s all up to us to decide whether we’re destined to have Toni or Lori as our next alcalde.

Or is Chicago finally going think it’s ready for the reform that one-time bar-keep alderman Paddy Bauler said we weren’t ready for more than a half-century ago?


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