* [Adding: WBEZ actually had this scoop, so I’ve changed the lead-in] Bill Ruthhart …
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will hold an event Monday to announce she is creating a campaign committee to explore a possible run for Chicago mayor, sources familiar with her plans confirmed.
Preckwinkle has spent the last two days calling community members and potential campaign donors and asking them to stand with her at the planned news conference, which would come less than a week after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he would not seek a third term, the sources said. By launching a political fund and speaking publicly about a possible bid, Preckwinkle’s moves would represent the strongest signs yet of any new candidate contemplating an entry into the already crowded mayoral field.
* Shia Kapos…
There are close to 40 names being batted about, but it’s Preckwinkle “who can put the fear of God in people” and keep others out of the race, as one strategist put it.
The Cook County board president has the broad support from African Americans, labor unions and donors. State Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Congressmen Luis Gutierrez and Mike Quigley have similar appeal. But Preckwinkle’s decision will likely determine how the next phase of the race plays out.
* John Byrne…
During an interview Thursday with WLS-AM reporter Bill Cameron, Emanuel said higher-profile candidates are kicking the tires on getting into the race because they must not think much of the current 12-person field.
“I don’t want to play analyst, but since you asked, I’ll play analyst. Ow, my hands behind my back, ow, ow, ow, ow,” the inveterately political Emanuel said. “OK, here it is, so, look, if other candidates, just take Toni Preckwinkle, Bill Daley or Susana Mendoza, are thinking about this, it means they don’t think the other ones, who’ve been at this for five months, are a roadblock.
“They’re not — either on financial or intellectual or policy ideas – they have not created such an important speed bump to anybody else, at this point, getting in,” he said. “So that’s why I think we don’t know yet.”
Asked whether he was endorsing the possible candidacies of those three in particular, Emanuel added outgoing U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez to the mix.