For a while there’s been talk on the internet of making Rahm Emanuel a mayor who only serves one term because people are displeased with what he’s done while mayor, most recently serving as mayor while 50 public schools are approved for closure.
A good question is if he’ll really be a one term mayor. Unless someone really good runs against him, I have a hard time seeing he’ll be a one term mayor. The main reason of this is that a lot of things activists are upset at Emanuel over are things a good chunk of voters might not care about because they didn’t affect them, such as the school and mental health clinic closures. Those who live in communities affected by these things and are aware of the affects from these decisions might be more likely to vote for anyone who isn’t Emanuel.
But for Emanuel to really be defeated, a good candidate has to run against him. And by “good candidate,” I mean “Someone better than Gary Chico, Miguel del Valle and Carol Mosley Braun.” The names that were floated by the Chicago Reader for potential challengers that seem like the people who could likely beat Emanuel are current Cook County board president Toni Preckwinkle, Ald. Robert Fioretti of Chicago’s Second Ward and Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union.
Let’s examine the situation of “what would happen if any of these people ran.” If she would run, Preckwinkle seems like the most likely person to beat Rahm. She’s a known politician with a track record people are familiar with. (Sorry, Fioretti and Lewis.) Preckwinkle was outspoken against the school closures and has wanted to reduce how many people are in the Cook County Jail. At a time when liberals are worried about Democrats who label themselves as “liberals” focusing on privatization and helping big corporations out, Preckwinkle has a track record I think has shown people she is a true reformer rather than using a nice buzzword to get votes.
Fioretti could also do well because he’s usually among the small handful of people willing to vote against Emanuel. He was also very outspoken during the school closing hearing process and even participated in a march to save the schools. However, Fioretti might stay on the city council and the thing I think could would hurt him is that he’s not as well-known as the other people I’m mentioning in this post.
Finally, there’s Lewis who could make the election very interesting. She’s someone who’s definitely known in Chicago for taking a stand against Emanuel. However, there were people in Chicago who were displeased by the CTU strike and she might be viewed as too fiery. And if a woman is passionate and fiery in politics and the labor sector that’s a negative to some people. Plus, Lewis might want to be a force for change through fighting for the teachers and the schools rather than being the mayor. Although it would be interesting if Chicago had a former chemistry teacher as a mayor.
Those are the only candidates I could see making Emanuel’s service as mayor of Chicago only last for one term. Maybe someone else will emerge and end up being a good candidate. Maybe Miguel del Valle will run for mayor again and this time get public speaking lessons from nine-year-old Asean Johnson. February 2015 is still quite a ways off. Unfortunately it will take a really strong candidate to defeat an incumbent who can raise lots of money.