Ex-Bridgeport schools chief among crowd running for mayor of Chicago

Ex-Bridgeport schools chief among crowd running for mayor of Chicago

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CHICAGO (AP) — The next mayor of Chicago will take over a city that is deeply divided by race and class, a decades-long problem that critics say only grew more pronounced during Mayor Rahm Emanuels two terms in office.

A dozen candidates were running to lead the nations third-largest city even before Emanuels surprise announcement Tuesday. By Wednesday the list of people weighing bids seemed to be multiplying by the minute.

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Next Chicago mayor to confront city divided by race, class

Among the most high-profile names being discussed were former Education Secretary Arne Duncan and longtime Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

* In Rahm Emanuel’s tenure, a global vision bogged down by local issues: Although some of Emanuels accomplishments helped critics label him as Mayor 1 percent, he will leave his mark on a Chicago that now, perhaps more than ever, looks the part of a titan in American business, culture and tourism. He may be remembered as the mayor who brought a Whole Foods to Englewood, but not the one that ended decades of disenfranchisement there and in other neighborhoods like it.

Those running — or contemplating it — as well as community leaders said the next mayor must be focused on uniting Chicago, long one of the nations most segregated cities.

The announcement also raises more immediate questions over whether the Emanuel administration will move forward with a $10 billion pension obligation bond issue that could prove a harder sell with the buyside now that uncertainty looms over the city’s future leadership. The city’s finance department could not immediately be reached to comment. A decision had been expected as soon as this week.

CHICAGO (AP) — The next mayor of Chicago will take over a city that is deeply divided by race and class, a decades-long problem that critics say only grew more pronounced during Mayor Rahm Emanuels two terms in office.

* Zorn: Surprised yet grateful that Emanuel is passing the torch: Im also glad that, with Emanuel out of the race, the campaign will be less about the past and more about the future. The prospect of an endless relitigation of Emanuels most regrettable decisions in office would have made for a harsher and more backward-looking campaign than we need or deserve.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel drops a political bombshell on Chicago, announcing he wont run for re-election, and just like that the race for mayor has been transformed: Its Lord of the Flies on LaSalle Street.

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Bill Daley, son of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley and brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, is rumored to be getting in. And Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, protege of Boss Madigan, might also jump.

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Now, the one announced candidate who benefits from Emanuels decision to pull the plug is former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas. Hes no friend of the Rahmulans. And they are no friends of his.

He’s planning to issue $10 billion in bonds to help pay down the city’s huge pension debt. Imagine the commissions that the bonds will generate. Now ask where Emanuel plans to work after he leaves office. Will it have anything to do where the city lags its bond business?

But institutional Chicago — the banks and others of the financial sector, the foundations and so on — and those who write the big campaign checks, may now see Vallas as the only announced candidate who can run Chicago from day one.

Is leaving his office to “pursue other interests” and the decision to float all those bonds just a coincidence? We’ll have to wait to find out. But seeing as how this is Chicago, it is proper to raise the question.

“The public has to decide: Who can really run the city?” Vallas told me after Emanuels announcement. “Who has the necessary experience? Who can put together a financial plan? I can.”

What does Rahm (Lame Duck) Emanuel plan to do after leaving the mayor’s office next year? Here’s a thought:

And the Rahmulans, hoping to hold on to power with Rahm going away, may entice former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett or former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan into the mix. Lead Rahmulan media merlin David Axelrod could tell them what to say. Former President Barack Obama could blow hot breath upon them and make them real.

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I speculated about this weeks ago on the “Chicago Way” podcast. And now well see how Chicago politics works with a lame duck mayor.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel abandons quest for third term

“It will fill my eyes with tears to leave a job I love, and already my heart is full with gratitude,” Emanuel said. “Weve worked together. Weve celebrated progress together. And we have grieved together.”

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Chicago mayors most often depart through death, or lack of votes — never an indictment — and what follows isnt a seamless transition.

Its always an earthquake, an explosion, a mad scramble. Desperate hands reach out to grab what they can. It all gets so tribal and ethnic. Youd think Rahm Emanuel would know this.

Were living in an era where a city that has many different ethnic groups and minorities, and people feel very passionately about their group, can elect a white Jewish mayor, said Rabbi Asher Lopatin, who led Emanuels Orthodox synagogue, Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, for his first two years as mayor. Deep down, we can put our differences behind us.

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But he had to pull the plug. He might not have made it to the runoff. And then his Rahmulans would have no hope of holding on through someone else.

He has a lot of talent and he has the kind of energy that is necessary to make a difference in the values that he and I share, said Moline, now the president of the Interfaith Alliance, a liberal religious advocacy group. I expect that there is another place for him to express that, although I have given up predicting what Rahm Emanuel is going to do.

What cost him was his decision to hide that police video showing white cop Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times, with most of the rounds penetrating the body as it lay on the ground.

Keeping the video from public view until after hed won re-election in 2015 kept him in power. But that cost him black votes. And with the Van Dyke murder trial underway, and Emanuel fitted for the jacket if violence erupts on the streets, it was done.


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