We have a new Mayor-elect in Chicago. For the first time, voters in the city have elected an African-American woman. Surprisingly, no shockingly, it's not the African-American woman you would have been sure would have won just six months ago.
Like her or hate her, Toni Preckwinkle was the most qualified candidate to become the next mayor of Chicago.
She started her career by teaching History in the Chicago area for ten years. Knowing how the school system works is a big part of being the Mayor in Chicago.
Her next step was moving into politics by running for Alderman. It took her three tries, but she was finally elected to that post, from the Hyde Park area, on the cities South Side. She was reelected four more times. Preckwinkle knows how the city council works. She knows how to deal with the Mayor. Pretty important stuff, right?
In 2010, she was elected Cook County Board President. Toni has been there since then, trying to manage a budget that never had enough money.
The next step in Toni Preckwinkle's political career was obvious. She was going to be Mayor. So how does a person who is so qualified for a position lose? How does she lose in a landslide? How does she lose every ward in the city? EVERY. SINGLE. ONE!
Sure, she had political baggage. She has connections to disgraced Alderman Ed Burke. That didn't seem to hurt her in the February election, when she finished second to Lori Lightfoot. Sure, she came up with that stupid tax on soft drinks which pissed off a lot of people. Toni figured out it was a bad idea and rescinded the tax. While it may be a contributor to what occurred last night, you wouldn't think that one misstep would lead to that big of a historic loss of an election, would you?
So what led to Toni Preckwinkle losing the election? Why is Toni Preckwinkle not the Mayor-elect of Chicago?
Maybe Chicago was ready for change...maybe. Maybe Chicago was ready for a non-machine candidate...maybe. Or maybe Toni Preckwinkle just took it for granted that she was going to be elected....maybe.
There were fourteen candidates running for Mayor, in the primary election. When they had their first public forum, thirteen of them showed up. Guess who was missing? Toni Preckwinkle. It was said she had a conflicting engagement. What could be more than important than being at the first forum. Blowing off forums was repeated multiple times after that.
Then there was the campaigning...the actual part of hitting the streets and meeting the people...yanno, the voters! Lori Lightfoot was everywhere. We rarely saw Toni north of Madison street. Hey Toni, there are lots of voters in Rogers Park...in Edgewater...in Lakeview. Maybe you should have tried harder to get our vote. Maybe you shouldn't have assumed you were going to get our vote.
Remember the Presidential election of 2016...yeah, I know...how can we forget? Remember when Hillary Clinton
thought knew she was going to win the election? Remember when Hillary Clinton stopped going to Michigan and Wisconsin because those states were in the bag? Remember when Hillary Clinton lost those states? Remember when Hillary Clinton lost the election?
Toni Preckwinkle did the same thing as Clinton. It didn't work for Hillary and it didn't work for Toni. That's how the best qualified candidate isn't President of the United States. That's how the best qualified candidate isn't the Mayor-elect of Chicago. That's how the best qualified candidate gets only twenty-six percent of the vote. That's how the best qualified candidate loses every ward in the city, including her own.
The ghost of 2016 reared it's ugly head again in 2019. Hopefully, it's a lesson learned for the next best qualified candidate.
Related Post: I voted for Mayor but I'm still undecided
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