* Just a few months ago, Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar was floating his name for a mayoral bid. Now he’s publicly mulling a race for governor…
Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar, who five years ago pulled off a historic upset with his against-the-grain aldermanic campaign to defeat a machine candidate, is now looking to do the same on a bigger platform. […]
With $58,000 in his campaign account, Pawar, who would run as a Democrat, said he doesn’t fear taking on incumbent Republican millionaire Gov. Bruce Rauner, who reported $188 million in income last year.
“In 2011, I ran for office and people laughed at me. I took on the machine and I beat it,” Pawar said. […]
“We’ve had a set of politics pitting one group of people against another. I don’t think that’s productive,” he said. “I think it’s time we have a progressive campaign for governor.” […]
“When I won in 2011, four weeks before the election I had $2,000 left from the $7,000 to 8,000 we started with,” Pawar said. “We ran the most shoestring campaign you’ve ever seen. Since then, I’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. I feel I can raise money to be competitive. … There’s a tendency to throw a bunch of money at the problem, throw money at the airwaves and crucify one another. There isn’t a lot of going out and talking to one another.”
Pawar did beat a machine candidate, but he did that with lots of door-knocking. A statewide bid is an entirely different level of campaigning, however. You can’t just go out and talk to people one-on-one and expect that to work. You have to raise big bucks, like it or not. Statewide is about wholesale, not retail.
Mayor Emanuel lives in Pawar’s district, so it’s almost assured Pawar will be tagged with the “Rahm’s alderman” moniker. It goes without saying that Emanuel is one of the least popular politicians in this state.
* From earlier this year…
He readily admits that he’s fundraising and that he’s interested in replacing Rahm Emanuel—should the mayor decide not to seek a third term. If Rahm does run again, Pawar, born in Evanston to immigrants from India, says he won’t challenge him. He credits Rahm, his constituent, for helping him on many of his legislative accomplishments.
Again: “Rahm’s alderman.” As if being an alderman in a city that has huge financial and crime problems isn’t bad enough.
* Pawar has limited himself to two terms, so that’s why he’s looking around for something else to do. But he already seems to be breaking a promise he made in August...
“What I’m not going to do is spend the next three years scheming for a higher office, any higher office. I think the problem with that is that you’re rooting for someone else’s failure so you can take their job. I’ve never run a negative campaign. I find it odd that the principle campaigns are run on is to destroy the other person; to make yourself look better by making the other person look bad.”
* He does have a progressive record to run on, though…
In his five years in City Council, Pawar counts among his successes the towing bill of rights, directing $40 million in TIF funds to schools and libraries in his ward, the licensing debt collectors ordinance, anti wage theft ordinance, and more.