Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sun-Times: Rahm, voters need strong challenger in mayoral race

This editorial from the Sun-Times takes into account county board Prez. Toni Preckwinkle formally announcing her withdrawal from the 2015 mayor contest. Preckwinkle already stated that she had no plans to run but many polls had her leading Rahm Emanuel in a potential contest.
Preckwinkle opted against running for mayor, a decision that may be good news for the mayor but the same may not be true for democracy in Chicago.

Every politician needs a strong opponent to keep them on their toes, to make them answer the hard questions. It’s good for the incumbent and, more important, it’s good for the people they represent. In the latest Sun-Times Early & Often poll released Monday, Preckwinkle was leading with 55 percent to Emanuel’s 31 percent in a one-on-one matchup.

Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president, did the noble thing (and the safe political thing) by removing her name as a contender for next February’s mayoral race, saying she still had work to do reforming the county’s criminal justice, health care and pension systems.
The current mayoral field poses no significant challenge to the mayor — a status quo that would deny voters a spirited debate on the many meaty issues facing their city. But there is still time.

The Early & Often poll put Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who is seriously considering a run, ahead of Emanuel by 9 percentage points. The poll also put Ald. Robert Fioretti in the hunt, distantly. He’d have a lot of catching up to do with a 14 point deficit and 24 percent undecided.

Polls, of course, are snapshots in time and this poll came just days after a bloody Fourth of July weekend. And despite some strong opposition, Emanuel remains popular and praised in many quarters, with many accomplishments under his belt, not to mention millions in the bank.
Well it's not that long before candidates can file petitions for all city officers Alderman, Clerk, Treasurer, and Mayor. Will anyone step forward against Rahm Emanuel?

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