CHICAGO — Six Chicago mayoral candidates faced off in a forum at the Union League Club on Friday. Topics included economic development, corruption and fighting crime.
“We have to get a handle on our finances,” candidate Paul Vallas said, “so that we can cap property taxes, the growth of property taxes, and fees.”
“When the city council learned that there was an alderman who was wearing a wire,” candidate Garry McCarthy said, “they basically said, ‘snitches get stitches.’ Street thuggery code, is what it is … Try to get a permit from city hall — there is zero customer service, unless you’ve got a guy.”
Candidate Lori Lightfoot said, “We need to have ethical leadership in our city government or we’re not going to move forward.”
Not on hand were top tier candidates Bill Daley and Susana Mendoza. Both campaigns cited scheduling conflicts.
A Chicago Sun-Times poll shows Toni Preckwinkle leading, followed closely by Daley. Gery Chico, Willie Wilson and Mendoza come in third, fourth and fifth.
Other candidates are struggling to crack five-percent support. Dorothy Brown came in at 4.7 percent — but she won’t appear on the ballot. The poll was taken before she was knocked off by a challenge.
African-American voters favor Wilson; Hispanics lean toward Mendoza.
An important factor: About one in four voters remains undecided.
After Friday’s forum, Wilson talked about his strong showing among African-Americans.
“I’m proud of my base supporting me,” Wilson said. “We’ve all got a base, whether you’re white, black Latino. We’ve all got a base.”
Chico shared why he thinks his support is growing.
“We are now surging again,” Chico said. “There’s three polls in the last three days that show me either third, second, fourth, whatever. But the bottom line is: We are growing faster than any other campaign.”
Preckwinkle fielded more questions about hiring Ald. Ed Burke’s son, who the Tribune reports was under investigation for misconduct at time.
“It's not our practice in our hiring to seek the personnel records of the people we employ,” Preckwinkle said.
The Cook County board president is desperately trying to move past the controversy, saying residents are not thinking about it.
“What I hear from voters is their concerns about our public schools, the vitality of our neighborhoods,” Preckwinkle said.
Here are the Sun-Times poll results:
- Toni Preckwinkle 12.7%
- Bill Daley 12.1%
- Gery Chico 9.3%
- Willie Wilson 9%
- Susana Mendoza 8.7%
- *Dorothy Brown 4.7% (*no longer on the ballot)
- Paul Vallas 4.3%
- Gary McCarthy 3.7%
- Amara Enyia 3.1%
- Lori Lightfoot 2.8%
- La Shawn Ford 1.2%
- Bob Fioretti 0.9%
- Jerry Joyce 0.9%
- John Kozlar 0.6%
- Neal Sales-Griffin 0%
Source: Chicago Sun-Times/We Ask America
Sun Times Chicago Mayoral Poll Results by on Scribd