Ward Room: Potential Wave of Progressive Aldermanic Candidates Seen for 2015
different Chicago City Council when it time to inaugurate in May 2015?
Call it Anti-Rahm Fever or the beginnings of a true progressive movement in City Council. Either way, it appears more progressive aldermanic challengers are announcing their candidacy earlier in the 2015 political cycle and in more wards across the city than ever before.While hard data this far out from the February, 2015 municipal elections is difficult to come by, an informal survey of the electoral landscape shows a burgeoning groundswell of candidates challenging incumbent alderman in anticipation of a potential sea change in the City Council’s makeup once the 2015 elections are done. Ward Room has been able to identify no less than 63 candidates in 30 different wards who have already announced seven months out, with others rumored or preparing to throw their hat in the ring.Of these candidates, the largest number wear the mantle of “progressive” proudly or present a political platform that is roughly in line with traditional progressive values, at least as practiced in Chicago. And while it remains to be seen if the majority of folks who have announced or are preparing will actually make the ballot come February, its notable that so many—and in such a diverse set of wards across the city—are already laying the groundwork for challenges to sitting aldermen.“I think what’s going on is that the voters of Chicago want change, and so people are standing up and moving more towards what they believe is their calling as candidates,” said Glenda Franklin, who has announced her candidacy in the 17th Ward against current alderman Latasha Thomas. “I’ve had conversations with people where I’ve said this isn't just anti-Rahm [Emanuel]. We need to be progressive about our communities. I’m hoping there are more progressive candidates than just those against the mayor because the city needs that more.”