* Bet you never thought you’d see that headline, eh? Anyway, I thought for sure this was a political prank on Toni Preckwinkle when I heard about it, but she has fully embraced an endorsement by Todd Stroger…
The former County Board president, who lost an ugly 2010 campaign to Preckwinkle, is now backing her, he tells The Spin.
“Yeah — what’s the saying? ‘There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests.’ And my interest is in seeing things get done in the neighborhoods that are typically overlooked. If I can bend the ear of the mayor to get something done, then so be it,” Stroger, who lives on the city’s South Side and works for South Side Chicago Ald. Howard Brookins, 21st, said Wednesday. […]
The two have “spoken about three times in the last week and a half — about the campaign and what my role could be. And I gave her some unsolicited advice, of course. What I told her was I thought that the campaign should start focusing more on the future, not on the past — we know who she is, (time to tell people) what is her plan. There’s no use sitting and fighting with your opponent.” […]
“Toni is proud to have the support of Todd Stroger because of their shared commitment to the community. He joins a growing coalition of community members who know she has the experience and vision to lead the city as the next mayor of Chicago,” campaign spokesman Chris Meagher said in an emailed statement.
Stroger is absolutely right about the need to focus on the future instead of constantly talking about her and her opponent’s pasts. Check out this debate story with that frame in mind…
Lightfoot then posed a question to Preckwinkle, noting how one of them will become the first African-American female elected mayor of Chicago and asking her to discuss the race’s significance.
Preckwinkle took her answer in a different direction, again trying to draw a distinction between her long career in public service as a teacher, alderman and county board president and Lightfoot’s background as a City Hall appointee and corporate attorney.
“You know, I think it’s true that this is a historic time. But it’s also true that we took very different paths to get where we are,” Preckwinkle said. “I worked to bring change, to actualize change, to transform the institutions I represented and the communities I represented. And let me just say, that’s hard work. Resolve isn’t good enough. It takes patience and courage to do this work.”
She went on to criticize Lightfoot for her work at Mayer Brown saying, “While I was transforming our health care system, increasing access and improving the quality of care, my opponent was working for a law firm that defends tobacco companies and polluters.” […]
“Well, I will actually answer the question,” Lightfoot said. “I hope this campaign and the fact that one of us as African-American women is going to be the next mayor of the city really gives hope to young girls that are out there and young men that are out there to know what my parents taught me: that anything is possible if you actually have the opportunity and take advantage of it and use it as a ladder up.”
* Even Chance the Rapper’s endorsement focused on the past…
Flanked by black activists with whom he consulted before making the endorsement, Chance said, “The resounding voice has been that they don’t necessarily feel comfortable or safe going into a city where Lori Lightfoot sits on the fifth floor” of City Hall.
“Her past record as a prosecutor has not been in the best interest of young black people in Chicago, hasn’t been entirely truthful. And even her campaign and the image that she’s created since the February election has been … very untrue,” he said.
Those same activists — from groups like Black Lives Matter and Assata’s Daughters who have rallied around the #NoCopAcademy label — “appreciate Toni Preckwinkle,” Chance said. […]
“The truth is that the most qualified person in terms of somebody who’s gonna look out for all the people of Chicago [and] account for the police, victims of gun crime, victims of economic crime is Toni Preckwinkle. So, I’m fully behind her,” he said.
* But no cash…
This isn’t his first entry into the mayor’s race. He and rapper Kanye West poured hundreds of thousands of dollars and ample hype into former candidate Amara Enyia’s campaign.
Chance may have given Enyia a $400,000 contribution in January, but said he wasn’t planning to open his wallet again.
“I don’t have any more money for Chicago politics,” Chance said, when asked if he would bring fresh cash to Preckwinkle’s campaign.
…Adding… Lori Lightfoot…
I have great respect for Chance and the community activists and organizers across the city who are fighting for social justice,” said Lightfoot. “I share their passion and commitment to pursuing true police accountability because we have not had nearly enough progress to date. That’s why I’ve fought for police reform throughout my career. As mayor, I will take my efforts to the next level by working with stakeholders who’ve been engaging in this fight from the get-go. My campaign is about delivering change, which means working together to enact new paradigms and new policies. I would create a robust youth committee to incorporate the perspectives and policy ideas of these activists into our city government. Young people have a voice, we just need to listen.