Hold the applause! Don’t strike up the band. Let’s have a moment of silence.
Is it a conspiracy? Utter confusion? Or simply downright indecision? In the wake of the political wave of candidates, it stands to reason that Chicago’s black coalition would cast their choice for a candidate into the mayoral race to contend, as well. But did they have a thoroughly thought-out plan?
Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), the coalition’s leader, seems to think so. Along with the other members–leaders of the community, religious heads, and politicos, a consensus candidate was agreed upon. Finally. U.S. Rep. Danny Davis emerged as the African-American front-runner to vie for the office of mayor.
The decision didn’t come easy. Oh, no. It has taken weeks to narrow the names down (since Sept.), finally coming up with Davis. Also, the field was full of talent: Rev. and Sen. James Meeks (D-Chicago), Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers, and Carol Moseley Braun, former U.S. Senator.
Sen. Meeks doesn’t see it as a slap in the face or rejection. His view is broader; his goal far-reaching: Meeks intends to serve all of Chicago, not segments. Certainly not exclusively African-Americans. In the same way, the coalition concluded–you can’t win with just black votes.
To U.S. Rep. Davis’ credit, one of the reasons he was chosen was because of the perception by the coalition that as a mayoral candidate he could capture votes from a wide variety of the population. Additionally, his knowledge of the city, the government, and how it functions, as well as his vision to develop Chicago as a global city struck a chord with the coalition members. Davis shares the “global village concept” with departing Mayor Daley.
However, Moseley Braun, who set up her campaign headquarters in Bronzeville, is poised to hit the campaign trail. Like Meeks, she will contend for the mayoral post with or without the coalition’s endorsement.
Some view all of these latest events as a way to fracture the African-American community, thus dividing the votes so that no African-American candidate will win. Others see it as an chance for candidates to exercise their political rights in America, the land of opportunity.
Skeptical voices have risen over the coalition’s move to select a single candidate to represent the African-American community. There are those that do not want someone else to make the choice for them. Whatever the case may be, the mayoral election draws closer by the day.
All of the hopefuls will have to take on Rahm Emanuel, another hopeful in the race for City Hall. Undoubtedly, he will collect his share of votes from the African-American community, as well. You could all but say Emanuel has Obama’s backing, although nothing official has been announced. Chitown voters can pretty much agree the former White House “Chief of Staffer” is considered a front-runner in this mayoral election. Add to all of this a mix of uncertainty in a race that changes by the week.
Davis proudly accepts the black coalition’s endorsement saying, “I’m ready to run.”
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