CHICAGO – With what is predicted to be a record number of voters turning out at the polls this election season, no incumbent can feel completely safe. Get ready Chicago. The candidates are lining up; the voters are coming out!
This election season promises to be one of the most exciting, if not unpredictable in quite awhile for Chicago. Already political fireworks are going off with Christine O’Donnell, a virtual unknown conservative of the Tea Party Express beating Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware’s Senate primary race.
There may be more of that to come across the country…and in the Windy City. Candidates left and right are seriously considering a campaign run for Daley’s coveted post. It’s a wide open field of potentials that promises to bring out record numbers of voters.
Boy, could we use some excitement around here. Talk about boring politics. Well, that would be the last four mayoral elections. Geez! Hardly any one showed up at the polls. Guess you know the reason for that. Why bother? Daley’s got it. Again and again, times four. Kind of takes the wind out of Chitown, with residents singing, “I got the voter blues.”
Not since Harold Washington ran for mayor in 1983 have Chitown citizens been given an opportunity to get involved in such a meaningful election. It’s guaranteed to be action-packed. It’s politics and all of a sudden, it got interesting.
Power to the people! A befitting slogan for voters this time around. They have the ability to select up to 20 new aldermen to don the halls downtown at City Council meetings with so many aldermen leaving to be mayor. This is the widest contest in 64 years. Hey, this whole election thing could actually be fun.
Needless to say, there will be somebody for everyone; candidates will no less represent many different points of view, cultures, races, and political bends. This could be great for Chicago because every voter will want to come out and support their favorite candidate. (I can see the future now: politics like TV’s America’s Got Talent. In order for your candidate to win, text one for Jesse Jackson, Jr., two for Brendan Reilly, three for Bob Fioretti…).
Candidates this election will have to watch out for the “anti’s.” Anti-democrat, anti-republican, anti-incumbent, anti-Obama. There’s a lot to be “anti” about these days. Especially here in Chicago. If you are an incumbent, better watch out. Voters are looking for fresh blood, new faces, and people who will do a better job. And, they don’t mind voting people out until they find someone who will fit the bill.
It’s like being told they are only serving fish or chicken for so long, and all of a sudden the menu has added steak, burgers, hotdogs, pork chops, roast, and ribs. Political analyst feel our city could have a turnout of at least 76 percent come February. We haven’t seen those kind of crowds since, right, Harold Washington, our one and only black mayor.
Aldermen are particularly leery right about now. Their campaign runs may have just gotten a lot more expensive, as well as time consuming. They will have to raise more money, shake more hands, run more ads than ever before. There’s a spirit of house cleaning sweeping across the land. Voters are getting rid of politicos they perceive aren’t producing.
Incumbent Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), is up against three challengers for her spot. Candidates will have to go out and grab the attention of the public, work fast to establish themselves with potential voters and earn their confidence.
It could very well be an election of historical proportions come Feb. 22. Turn-out may have been under 42 percent the last four mayoral elections. This time, the mayoral wannabe is going to have to work for every single vote.
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