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About that special election…

Tuesday, Jan 6, 2009

* This may happen, but don’t bet too much money on it yet

Ald. Tom Allen (38th) said Monday he would not be a candidate in the March 3 special primary election to succeed former U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, opening the door for City Council colleague Pat O’Connor (40th) to nail down the Democratic Party’s pivotal endorsement.

Why do I say that? Here’s one reason…

Ald. William Banks (36th) said Monday he will convene the slatemaking session in two or three weeks, giving a field that once included 22 candidates a last chance to narrow.

“Whoever has the weighted vote becomes the candidate of the party. If nobody does, it becomes an open primary,” Banks said.

Banks is likely to end up with Rep. John Fritchey, who announced his candidacy yesterday via his FaceBook page. Fritchey also has a high profile position on the impeachment committee, which is getting him a ton of earned media right now. And he’s a ward committeeman himself.

UPDATE: Ald. Banks, I’m told, is supporting O’Connor for the seat.

* Here’s another reason

When developer George Ardelean came to Ald. Patrick O’Connor seeking support to build a senior housing project in the 40th Ward, he already had a long-standing business relationship with the alderman’s wife.

Barbara O’Connor had sold luxury town homes elsewhere in the city for the builder, who now wanted the alderman’s backing for the proposed nine-story, 187-unit apartment building at 6000 N. Ravenswood Ave.

Patrick O’Connor did everything in his power to promote the project, and Barbara O’Connor sold more homes for Ardelean.


The rumors about him being a placeholder for Rahm Emanuel might not sit well with voters, either.

* I’ve posted this before, but let’s do it again

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) said Friday she has raised $300,000 in her bid to succeed Rahm Emanuel in Congress, making her the early fund-raising leader for the seat vacated when Emanuel joined the Obama White House. […]

University of Chicago economics lecturer Charlie Wheelan has announced he has raised $100,000. Former Homeland Security official Justin Oberman reports raising $140,000. Doctor Victor Forys says he has raised $160,000. County Commissioner Mike Quigley said he expects to match Feigenholtz’s numbers. Several aldermen and others are weighing a run.

Feigenholtz has to be treated as a serious contender as well.

* Bored Now takes a look at candidate websites. One caveat: Deborah Mell is out of the race.

* Related…

* Dates Set For Election To Replace Emanuel

* Candidates Start Race for 5th District Seat

* New Illinois members Halvorson, Schock join Congress today

* Schock to be sworn into U.S. House today

* Southland’s varied congressional delegation gets to work in D.C.

* Bean foe got late help from big names, reports show

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - ScottKEdgewater - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 9:53 am:

    I’m a 40th Ward resident, and I congratulate our Ald. O’Connor at being considered for the 5th Congressional District seat. I wish him the best in this endeavor and implore the voters of the 5th District to vote O’Connor! Please!

  2. - facebook? really? - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 9:56 am:

    Really? Facebook?

    Maybe if this was a 2 year momentum building race…

    But this is a slash and dash hit the media hard kinda race.

    Fritchey will throw his support behind Sara like a good Madigan lieutenant.

  3. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 10:07 am:

    Good Luck John!

    You’ve been doing good work out there and folks have noticed!

    You should do very well!

  4. - Really? - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 10:15 am:

    So Fritchey announced on a private facebook page? Smart.

  5. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 10:19 am:

    I’ll believe Fritchey runs when he’s actually on the ballot. Big talker, small doer. Facebook! Ha!

  6. - Amy - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 10:28 am:

    FaceBook….I’m with Colbert’s description of such pages…he calls “them” My Face.

    oh, and 40th ward ethics vs. 36th ward ethics….priceless.

  7. - The Rug Doctor - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 10:45 am:

    I think the most interesting line in Sun-Times article about 5th CD campaign fundraising is this:

    “County Commissioner Mike Quigley said he expects to match Feigenholtz’s numbers.”

    What is this sentence and what does it really mean?

    Here’s my analysis:

    The sentence is vague Quigley-spin buried in the graph to do the least possible damage to his media image and campaign.

    It is a polite way for Quigley fans in the Chicago media to say that he has not been able to raise $100 grand, much less come close to matching Feigenholtz’s $300 grand.

    Where does Quigley expect his campaign funds to come from? Doesn’t he still owe $200,000+ in campaign loans from his inept run for Cook County Board President.

    Quigley’s campaign is all about his ego and a sense of entitlement to something that he has done nothing to earn.

    His campaign slogan should be: “Mike Quigley…a legend in his own mind.”

  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 10:58 am:

    I remember when Roman Pucinski gave up a safe congressional seat to become an alderman.

    I wonder what’s changed? There was a Boss Daley then as now and a Dem majority in Congress then and now.

  9. - Phil Collins - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 11:03 am:

    The republican nominee, in the special election, will be Rosanna Pulido, the founder and director of the Illinois Minuteman Project. Please read her site,

  10. - Bill - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 11:59 am:

    ==The republican nominee, in the special election, will be Rosanna Pulido==
    LOL. When Fritchey wins the committeemen should replace him with Rich Bradley.

  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 12:02 pm:

    ===When Fritchey wins the committeemen should replace him with Rich Bradley.===


    Wrong district.

  12. - Don't underestimate him - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:06 pm:

    Before commenting, people may want to see who winds up with more press coverage today about their candidacy, Feigenholtz and her hastily arranged press conference, or Fritchey and his Facebook announcement. You may be surprised.

  13. - Illinois.Pundit - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 1:58 pm:

    Don’t underestimate him, I don’t know how you can call Feigenholtz’s press conference hastily arranged. She had over a hundred people there and it appeared to be very well planned out and represented by most of the Chicago media. Fritchey will be all over the news, because that’s what he does. Remember, this isn’t about getting the most press, it’s about selecting the best person to represent the 5th District. Feigenholtz cares about her constituents, Fritchey cares about getting press.

  14. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:00 pm:

    I really don’t want to turn comments into a kill-zone. Let’s try to stick to your own candidate, please.

  15. - Ditto - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:01 pm:

    Banks is “likely” to end up with Fritchey? Since they’re inlaws I think that’s pretty much a given. :) I saw the WGN footage of Feigenholtz’s “hastily” arranged press conference…it didn’t look so hastily arranged to me. The room was packed with easily more than 100 people, banners, signs, and there was a bunch of other TV cameras. I’d say don’t understimate her!

  16. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:13 pm:

    Northeastern IL Univ? I hope she paid the going rate for the room…

  17. - R.A. - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:23 pm:

    I don’t think O’Connor will run, based in part on that Tribune zoning/real estate series Rich has linked above. The same issue will cause problems for Fritchey.

    Doesn’t Gene Schulter have the highest weighted vote in the 5th CD? If there is a slated candidate in the race, he probably has the best chance — but all indications are this will be an open primary.

    This race seems to be setting up like a repeat of last year’s State’s Atty. primary, with Sara Feigenholtz positioned in the Anita Alvarez role. All the male candidates better hope there are a few more female contestants or Feigenholtz wins easily.

    Quigley will get all the newspaper endorsements, but half of his organization will go with Feigenholtz. And he’s proven he can’t raise money.

    Schulter’s organization is underrated, it might be better than Mell’s at this point. If there are multiple women in the race, the contest will be between Schulter, Feigenholtz, and Fritchey. The winner might get by with only 25% of the vote.

  18. - Thom Polanszki - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 2:39 pm:

    Ditto and R.A. - I agree with your assessments of the Feigenholtz factor. I can see why others are anticipating another Anita Alvarez effect in this race.

    I saw the press conference on the noon WGN broadcast, and Sara’s press conference was actually very impressive. The room was packed with supporters and media, they already have campaign banners, and she had the sense to do her announcement further West in the district. It appeared to be very, dare I say, Congressional…

  19. - Ditto - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 3:35 pm:

    For anyone who’s interested, here’s a link to WGN for the feigenholtz press conference. It’s not direct, but if you click on the “more” button next to the videos her will pop up.

  20. - Amy - Tuesday, Jan 6, 09 @ 6:34 pm:

    wanted, the same thing that wins judicial elections…..woman with an Irish surname. i cannot possibly imagine that the boys will be dumb enough to let Sara be the only woman on the ballot. otherwise, she wins.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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