The top ten candidates likely to run and win the race for Mayor of Chicago in 2011 are listed below. None of these individuals has said he will run, but they all are likely to give the race careful consideration now that Mayor Richard M. Daley has indicated he will not run for re-election. These ten candidates are the ten most likely to run and win-- and they all are Democrats. Rahm Emanuel is the early favorite to run and win, and the rest are listed in the order of likelihood of running and winning the 2011 race for Mayor of Chicago.
There are many more potential candidates, some of whom could also win. However, the below are the Tier 1 candidates. We will follow up with a list of the Tier 2 and possibly Tier 3 candidates for Chicago Mayor. These would include such potential candidates as Mayor Daley's son, Patrick and Republican Ron Gidwitz, who came in 4th out of 4, in the 2006 Repubican Primary for Governor.
As to Patrick Daley, we would note that the history of parent-child successions and hand-offs in Chicago and Illinois' political history is rich and varied. For example: Richard J. Daley to Richard M. Daley for Chicago Mayor (A Daley has sat in the Chicago Mayor's chair for 44 of the last 55 years); Cong. Bill Lipinski to Cong. Dan Lipinski; Speaker Mike Madigan to Attorney General Lisa Madigan; Senate President Tom Hynes to Comproller Dan Hynes; Rev. and Presidential candidate Jesse Jackson to Cong. Jesse Jackson, Jr., ; Cook County Board President John Stroger to Board President Todd Stroger. All of the above are Democrats and are sometimes referred to as the Democratic royal families.
The top ten candidates to replace Mayor Daley are discussed below:
1. Rahm Emanuel (Before he was a Senior Adviser to President Clinton, Congressman and Chief of Staff to Obama, Rahm raised a lot of money for Daley and Daley reciprocated in 2002, sending patronage workers over to the 5th CD to help Rahm win a tough Democratic primary. Not a natural campaigner, but he does everything else well. He will have money, organization, smarts, connections and the over-all ability to run and win. .
2. Forrest Claypool, two terms as a Cook County Board Member and two terms as Chief of Staff to Mayor Daley. Developed strong image as a reformer as head of the Chicago Park District, Cook County Board Member and candidate for Cook County Board President in the 2006 Democratic Primary. Currently running as an independent against Democrat Joe Berrios for Cook County Assessor. If Claypool wins against Berrios, Forrest will not run for Mayor. But, if Claypool loses with a respectable showing against Berrios, he will run for Mayor and give his friend and colleague, Rahm, a run for his money. Claypool, Emanuel and Daley supporter- David Axelrod are all close friends, and with Obama, make up the Four Amigos. .
3. Jim Houliham, Cook County Assessor; big proponent of a tax swap, i.e., raise the state income tax and lower the county property tax, with a net gain in state tax revenue of about seven billion dollars. Quite liberal and well connected politically. Understand politics and the inside game in Chicago. Has a wealth of political experience and good instincts that make him a strong contender for Mayor. .
4. Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff, well connected politically from the Southwest side of Chicago, and an extremely competent, skilled pol. A former State Rep. who wanted to run for Illinois AG in 2002, but was pushed out of that race by Speaker Madigan to clear the field for his daughter, Lisa Madigan. Instead, Dart ran for and lost the race for Treasurer in 2002. .
5. Cong. Mike Quigley was the first modern day reformer at the Cook County Board. He led the way for the Gang of Four Reformers on the Board: Claypool, Quigley, Suffredin and Peraica. A very socially liberal pol, with strong connections to the Progressive Community who still plays a good, hard game of ice hockey. Has a solid reputation of being a fiscal conservative who wrote the book on reform of Cook County Government. Won a close special election in 5th Cong. District in 2009 to replace Emanuel.
6. Ald. Ed Burke, powerful Chairman of the Chicago City Council's Finance Committee; over the years has moved considerably to the left and if he runs, can expect plenty of help from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, i.e., the progressive left. Has considerable wealth, political power and connections throughout the government and political sectors. Knows how to move the levers of power and will be a formidable candidate if he runs.
7. Cong. Jesse Jackson, Jr., 15 year Congressman from the South Side of Chicago and he has dreams of becoming first African-American U. S. Speaker of the House. May have gotten too close to a deal with Blagojevich for Obama's Senate Seat. If so, he still could be indicted. If not, he has a good shot at rallying the African-Americans in Chicago to support him in the Mayor's 2011 race. With that support and if no other African-Americans run, Jr. becomes an instant contender. .
8. Cong. Luis Gutierrez, 18 year Congressman from Chic ago; strong Hispanic following; has had an on again, off again, relationship with Mayor Daley. Strong proponent o f immigrant rights for both legal and illegal immigrants. Needs a large field to win. But, if he gets that and if the Hispanic population turns out big time, Luis could win.
9. State Rep John Fritchey, another pol with an image of being a progressive reformer in State House, but yet has some very good connections to the Chicago political machine. Was a strong supporter of the tax swap to increase funding for education and to equalize spending on education in public schools. Is on his way to being elected to the Cook County Board in November to replace Forrest Claypool, who did not seek re-election. .
10. David Hoffman, a former Ass't U. S. Attorney and Inspector General for the City of Chicago, gave Alexi Giannoulias a run for his money in the Democratic U. S. Senate Primary. As a novice candidate, his campaign style needed work and he did improve in what was a short campaign. Hoffman would be competing with Claypool and Quigley for the reform vote. His complete separation from the regular Democratic organization is both a plus and a minus. Hoffman is s smart, aggressive candidate with some wealth of his own to spend. If he organizes and gets started early, he could be competitive.
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Tags: Ald.Burke, Barack Obama, Cong. Gutierrez, Cong. Jesse Jackson, Cong. Mike Quigley, David Axelrod, Forrest Claypool, Four Amigos, Illinois Reform Commssion, Jim Houlihan, John Fritchey, Jr., Mayor Richard M. Daley, Patrick Collins, Pay to Play, Rahm Emanuel, Sheriff Tom Dart