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He’s stronger than you may think

Monday, Oct 27, 2014


Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is mulling whether or not to take on Rahm Emanuel and run for mayor, according to sources within the Democratic party, and within Chicago’s Latino and progressive communities.

“He’s certainly getting a lot of calls on it,” said one Latino elected official.

Garcia, considered a progressive, has served in City Council, the Illinois General Assembly, and most recently, as Commissioner of Cook County’s 7th District, encompassing largely Latino neighborhoods on the city’s southwest side and parts of Cicero. He was elected to City Council in 1986 as alderman of the 22nd ward and was a top ally of then-Mayor Harold Washington. In 1992, he was elected to the Illinois State Senate and touts himself as the first Mexican-American to hold that office. […]

One top Democratic party official said Garcia could quickly build name recognition if he got the support of Latinos, progressives, and labor unions – a coalition that the mayor is struggling with.

First, I just want to say that Chuy is one of my all-time favorite politicians. Love the guy.

* But I’d like to take this opportunity to point out something to the “progressives” who are so upset at the mayor, particularly over his refusal to support a $15 minimum wage. So, they’re bashing Emanuel for backing a $13 minimum while dumping millions to support Gov. Pat Quinn - who supports a $10 minimum wage?

Kinda screwy if you ask me. [Also, Rahm has given the progressive darling Quinn $225K since March - more than any other Illinois politician.]

The city, like just abut all major US cities these days, has moved far to the Left of where it was 10 years ago. Emanuel belatedly found that out the hard way and is now clearly recalibrating.

* Also, as far as the unions are concerned, Emanuel has considerable union support. AFSCME just got a new contract, and hizzoner is supporting AFSCME’s attempt to unionize taxi drivers. SEIU is backing the mayor on the minimum wage and other issues, and the trades are pretty much universally on board.

That leaves the CTU and some smaller unions on the outs with Emanuel.

* Racially speaking, to oversimplify things, you need two out of the three predominant racial demographics to win Chicago - whites, blacks or Latinos, or a combination of major subgroups within those blocs. I can see a path for Emanuel (as long as he continues the leftward recalibration) more than I can for Garcia (who will likely scare the big money types into ignoring Emanuel’s lurch away from them).

Chuy is one heckuva stump speaker, and I’d love to see him save the city from the cringe-inducing thumping that 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti will likely receive from Emanuel. I mean, who the heck hires a campaign manager fresh off his humiliating management of the failed remap amendment, for crying out loud?

But Garcia has never impressed me as much of a fundraiser. So, let’s see what kind of team he puts together before anointing him as the Second Coming.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    The only cook county commissioner who covers the city that could take on Rham is Bridget Gainor.
    She has the money and 19th ward going for her. She lives North but grew up in 19.

  2. - Anyone? - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    >>predominant racial demographics to win Chicago

    Does Anyone but Rahm count as a predominant demographic?

  3. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    Bridget Gainer is not running for Mayor as long as Rahm is there.
    That said - someday, I will be proud to support her for that office. Just not yet.

  4. - Demoralized - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Jesus for Mayor.

    Who’s going to be that?

  5. - William j Kelly - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    Well at least he won’t have to worry about those pesky fundraising caps.

  6. - 47th Ward - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    You said it, man. Nobody f(ools) with the Jesus.

  7. - Chilaborguy - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    I concur with Rich’s insightful analysis. Love Chuy. He is committed, smart, personable and a hell of a campaigner. That said, it is very difficult to see his path to victory.

  8. - Demoralized - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    “Who’s going to BEAT that” is what I meant.

  9. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    Maybe I should form an Atheists for Jesus club.

  10. - Belle - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Most everyone is pretty annoyed at Rahm these days for all kinds of reasons. Most simply is he is too much like Daley in the methods he uses City Council. Some of the anger is not necessarily logical. But, they are just beginning to re-surface streets just in time for more ice brutalization of them.

  11. - Hard core R - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    I forgot William Kelly,Oh that’s right so did everybody else!!

  12. - Anon - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    Love Chuey, not sure he would have a shot, but he’s always seemed like a great guy.

  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    The election is not about Race.

  14. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    ===The election is not about Race.===

    Well, then that would be a break from the last 100 years or more in that city.

  15. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    Love Chuy, but really? I’m sure Rahm is quaking…

  16. - Aaron - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    Rich, there are major issues with Rahm’s proposal for $13. Two big one’s - it takes four years to get to $13 and by then it will be just nine cents an hour above poverty. The second being it doesn’t take into account the difference between small businesses & corporate giants like Walmart, McDonald’s, etc.

  17. - Chris - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:14 pm:

    Rich: “let’s see what kind of team he puts together before anointing him as the Second Coming”

    This is going to be a little bit like the 2012 Republican presidential debate season–there’s going to be a series of “maybe her/him??” (potential) candidates tossed around, in hopes of finding *somebody* (anybody!!) who might beat Rahm.

    I’m probably voting for Rahm, unless there’s a genuine surprise among the potential challengers; thus far, nobody’s had a story that resonates with me apart from “I’m Not Rahm”.

  18. - Under Further Review - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:24 pm:

    Garcia was elected to the City Council after a Federal court ordered a special election due to a gerrymandered aldermanic ward map had been used in 1983 (presumably prepared by former Alderman Thomas Keane at the request of Mayor Jane Byrne — something that Michael Sneed forgot to report in her nostalgic efforts to boost the former mayor recently). Garcia unseated a white alderman representing a largely Latino ward. That being said, the 22nd Ward was one of the worst performing wards in terms of voter turnout.

  19. - Amalia - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    party like it’s 1987!

  20. - Amalia - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    countdown to someone invoking the memory of Rudy Lozano!

  21. - AlabamaShake - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:44 pm:

    Not so sure about that SEIU support for Rahm.

    Local 73 has supported him somewhat, but local q is not a fan and the healthcare local hates him. And they are definitely not supporting the mayor on minimum wage.

    Chug has never shown that he can raise a lot of money, but he’s never had to. And he’s never been in this kind of race. There is a lot of progressive money to be raised by a viable candidate against Rahm.

    Rahm is very vulnerable. A likable, talented opponent (ie not Fioretti) that can harness some of the energy that Karen Lewis had behind her could make this a very interesting race.

    Can Chuy be that person? We’ll see. But I’m in for Chuy.

  22. - Wordslinger - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 5:32 pm:

    47, thanks for the Lebowsk

    You got a date Wednesday, whoo!

  23. - Chilaborguy - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 5:40 pm:

    Rahm is very vulnerable? Based on what data other than your feelings? How do you quantify “very vulnerable”? What empirical evidence do you have that proves this? I certainly don’t like Rahm, I think he is weaker than when he first ran for office but where is the proof that Rahm is “very vulnerable”. Chuy just told Carol Marin that he needs to raise $3 million to be viable. Gery Chico spent $4.5 million and got 24% of the vote. Chuy does better than Chico? Why? Becuz he is a better candidate and Rahm is unpopular? Lots of assumptions there. Let’s see if he can get the signatures, let’s see if he can raise REAL money and let’s see what kind of a campaign he can put together. Putting together a campaign of this magnitude with so little time is an incredibly daunting task. I wish you well Commissioner Garcia. You will need it, Brother.

  24. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 6:33 pm:

    ==- Chilaborguy - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 5:40 pm:==


  25. - AlabamaShake - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 8:32 pm:

    **Rahm is very vulnerable? Based on what data other than your feelings?**

    No, not based on my feelings. Based on more than one poll that I have seen.

    ** Chuy does better than Chico? Why?**

    Yup - because 2015 is different than 2011, and the 2015 version of Rahm is different than the 2011 version of Rahm, at least in terms of how he is perceived by voters.

    Don’t get me wrong — Chuy has a very tough, uphill battle to even be viable. But if if he can build a Latino/progressive/public labor coalition, and get support from prominent African Americans (lets start with Karen Lewis), then yea, I think that he can be viable.

  26. - Amalia - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 8:54 pm:

    also cue the voter registration analysis. and the what will Luis do analysis. the Hispanic vote does not function in a remotely similar way to other large ethnic vote blocks. Chuy is a progressives only viewpoint.

  27. - 22warder4life - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:10 am:

    Voters don’t need money to vote…..the young voters will play a HUGE part in this election ,Jesus Garcia is in the communities reaching out to the young voters and all making them aware not only of the facts but informing them of current status of government. He is gonna put light on things that people aren’t aware of things that millions of dollars can’t fix or hide Mr Rahm .He’s gonna need every Pennie to answer for things …..Jesus Garcia is coming in with a strong stradegy humble and ready ….its gonna get better …Jesus Garcia is a household name in the Hispanic community of Chicago from many generations that means something ….this election has just got better I’m inspired and excited i cant wait til the gloves come off Today is a good day …Rahmbo ain’t no match for Pancho villa lol…….. viva chuey

  28. - 22warder4life - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:14 am:

    Yes I know strategy……..t type came through…viva chuey

  29. - 22warder4life - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:25 am:

    This election isn’t about race ..exactly……but about the next 10 years from the bat ..Amalia we can’t depend or count on the media ,percent captains,a bull crap flyer bashing opponents…… its the heart of the voter period that has to spread the word to make them aware of the full circle YOU as I have to do that I want to see a Hispanic mayor in my lifetime in Chicago there is no other person more qualified then Jesus Garcia …it is time ….it is time ….we deserve it and need it I will exhaust all efforts and all to reach all the people I know to vote for Jesus Garcia I’m good for 100 votes strong and I’m 1 person no lies all facts .it can be done……a seed grows and grows its our time for real change

  30. - 22warder4life - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:28 am:

    Voters don’t need money to vote Rahm……No money can take you out …….millions don’t mean anything

  31. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    The difference between supporting $10 for Quinn and opposing $13 for Emanuel is the difference between living in De Pue and living in Chicago.

    The other problem is that Emanuel governs Chicago like he’s trying to win votes in De Pue. Which he is.

    Can’t we just promote him out of his incompetence? Let him wash out of DC again, I don’t care.

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