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That toddlin’ town roundup

Tuesday, Mar 7, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Crain’s last night

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is set to place her self toward the front of the conga line of politicians now endorsing one of two mayoral candidates vying for the lead in the April 4 runoff election.

Preckwinkle, the county’s top elected official, on Tuesday morning will officially endorse Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson over rival Paul Vallas, according to a press release from Preckwinkle’s office.

Greg Hinz tipped this yesterday morning.

* Tribune

Esmeralda Hernández is a lifelong resident of Little Village, but she chose to work at the polls in the Pilsen neighborhood on Election Day.

She campaigned for incumbent Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 25th, and opted not to vote in her own ward’s aldermanic election.

Little Village residents say they feel invisible, and that translated to the polls where the 22nd Ward recorded a 23% voter turnout as of March 1, one of the lowest in the city.

Turnout was indeed down in the ward from four years ago. It dropped by 243 votes, or about 5 percent (with some mail-ins left to count), while citywide turnout is up ever so slightly to date. Historical 22nd Ward context, with total first round citywide votes cast in parentheses…

    2023: 4,622 (561,635)
    2019: 4,865 (560,701)
    2015: 5,079 (483,700)

* While we’re on the topic of results and turnout, the mail-in ballots have boosted Brandon Johnson a little bit…

    Vallas: 184,526 33.00%
    Johnson: 120,612 21.57%

Vallas is down a point from election night, and Johnson is up a bit more than a point. Yeah, it ain’t much, but it’s something.

* The bad news for Johnson in this poll might not be just that the survey shows him behind. It may also be that the number of 18-29 year-olds polled was almost exactly the same number of 65+ polled. Older voters greatly outnumbered younger voters in the first round. Then again, the poll also skews more toward White people, which make up 49 percent of the sample. So, take from this what you will

Paul Vallas leads Brandon Johnson 43.5 percent to 32.5 percent in the first independent mayoral poll heading into the runoff. More than 24 percent of voters polled were undecided. The 1983 Labs survey has a sample size of 583 registered, likely voters in Chicago. It was conducted digitally from March 2 to 6. Details here.

Also, no methodology is posted online.

* Ms. Jones ran against Sen. Rob Martwick (D-Chicago) in the primary last year and was clobbered 67-33…

…Adding… Vallas campaign…

The longtime former Principal of Whitney Young Magnet High School and one of Chicago’s most respected public education leaders, Dr. Joyce Kenner, endorsed Paul Vallas for Mayor today. Dr. Kenner worked closely with Vallas during his time as CEO of Chicago Public Schools, which coincided with her first years leading the prestigious magnet school. Now, she is supporting Vallas for Mayor because she believes that his education platform will enhance student achievement and empower local school leaders.

“Paul Vallas is the right choice to be Mayor at the right time,” said Dr. Kenner. “His record of putting our kids first and improving the quality of our schools is exactly the kind of leadership we need to get our schools in order and our city back on track. Chicago’s kids deserve experienced leadership at the helm.”

* Isabel’s Chicago roundup…

    * WaPo | Chicago mayoral candidates have starkly different strategies on crime: Paul Vallas, a former schools administrator who finished first in last week’s general election, campaigned on a tough law-and-order message, calling for more police officers and cracking down on misdemeanors like retail theft and public nuisance offenses. … “We’re putting police officers in a space where they are not qualified to address,” Johnson said in a recent appearance on public television station WTTW’s flagship program, “Chicago Tonight.” “We’re forcing police officers to behave as social workers. That’s irresponsible.” Johnson was the only candidate in the general election who did not explicitly pledge to boost the number of patrol police. He’s also made his pitch on crime prevention personal, often referencing challenges and concerns he and his wife face raising their children in the Austin neighborhood on the city’s West Side. In 2020, the area had 64 homicides, the fourth-highest by police district.

    * Block Club | Who Are Chicago’s Alderpeople Endorsing For Mayor?: Some alderpeople had already thrown their hats behind Vallas or Johnson, while others are jumping on the bandwagon after backing one of the other seven candidates in round one of the election.

    * Block Club | In The 43rd Ward, Knudsen And Comer Enter Runoff With New Endorsements, Sign Drama: Comer’s campaign has raised concerns over an incident that happened in the days before the Feb. 28 election involving a Knudsen campaign worker. Comer was driving down Armitage Avenue about 8:30 p.m. Feb. 26 when he saw someone carrying his green campaign signs under their arm. As Comer passed, he recognized the person as Alex Hanns from Knudsen’s campaign team, he said.

    * Crain’s Editorial | These issues haven’t gotten their due in the mayor’s race — yet: Chicagoans can’t hope to solve the problems that ignited such sharp debate in the pre-runoff period if the city doesn’t maintain and even shore up its economic base. So it’s been disappointing to see spending priorities and jobs take a back seat — only lightly touched on during debates, if at all — but now there’s an opportunity to put economic policy front and center in the runoff.

    * Block Club | Lincoln Square Ald. Andre Vasquez Now Supports Brandon Johnson In Mayoral Race: “In the runoff, it is a very clear choice as to what’s better for the city, right? You can decide to actually move backwards in ways that have failed us when it comes to public safety, when it comes to investing in education,” Vasquez said. “Or we can move forward and try things and find solutions to problems that have not been solved in Chicago’s history.

    * Sun-Times | Don’t gloss over significance of Brandon Johnson’s trip to Selma: Brandon Johnson’s attendance commemorating the “Bloody Sunday” march in Selma, Alabama, as he bids to become Chicago’s next mayor, was more significant and symbolic than the Sun-Times coverage reflects. The newspaper mentioned the trip but did not do so in context of who Johnson actually is. The son of a pastor, Johnson grew up with the dual traditions of service and standing up for justice. He is a respected labor organizer, but he also serves as a Cook County commissioner, an educator and a consummate coalition-builder.

    * WTTW | Advocates Hopes Chicago’s Next Mayor Puts Focus on Environmental Justice Issues: “I’d love to see not only Chicago’s Department of Environment return, but I want to see an Office of Environmental Justice. Chicago needs an environmental justice ordinance,” says Cheryl Johnson, executive director of People for Community Recovery, an environmental advocacy group based in the Altgeld Gardens Homes on the city’s far South Side. “

    * Crain’s | Chicago lands $80 million to address opioid crisis: The funds, which will be managed by the Chicago Department of Public Health, come from the previously announced pool of $760 million being granted to the entire state over the next two decades. Like other states, Illinois was awarded a portion of the $26 billion opioid settlement agreement made early last year with drug manufacturers and distributors, including Johnson & Johnson, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health.

    * NBC Chicago | Chicagoans Engaging Fellow Residents to Help Promote City Neighborhoods: Instead of promoting typical tourist attractions, Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism agency, is focusing on promoting unique neighborhood offerings, and they are using residents to help get the word out.

    * Reuters | Fact Check-Picture does not show Lori Lightfoot buying beer after losing re-election bid: A months-old picture of Chicago’s incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot buying beer has been shared online as if taken in February 2023, after she lost her re-election bid. Posts making these claims were likely intended as satire.


  1. - Always something - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 11:55 am:

    TP lost all but 20 precincts against Lori and lost her own Ward by 19 points. Her endorsement hurts more than it helps.

  2. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===TP lost all but 20 precincts against Lori===

    Point taken, but this isn’t 2019. Lightfoot received 78 percent in the runoff. So, maybe move on.

  3. - This and That - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:04 pm:

    Yeah, that Hanns guy earns his pay as a campaign operative willing to go in the ditch. He used to do oppo for Pritzker’s campaigns and loved to show up at opponent’s campaign events to get in their face. Now it’s stealing yard signs in the 43rd. He plays hardball.

  4. - TJ - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:08 pm:

    Preckwinkle’s endorsement seems like a negative more than a positive, tbqh.

  5. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:10 pm:

    ===It may also be that the number of 18-29 year-olds polled was almost exactly the same number of 65+ polled.===

    Vallas is performing better than Johnson among 18-29 year olds in this poll too. Johnson cannot have that happen in the actual election.

  6. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:21 pm:

    1983 is not a competent pollster. Their results should be taken with truckloads of salt. Their samples are weird and not remotely representative. Their last poll of the race right before the election showed 24 Vallas, 18 Lightfoot, 16 Chuy and 15 Johnson. And that was with a sample that was predominantly white and young. Waiting for a better pollster to weigh in.

  7. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:24 pm:

    “Fact Check-Picture does not show Lori Lightfoot buying beer after losing re-election bid”

    I actually would have appreciated it more if she had bought the Modelo after her loss. Very human reaction.

  8. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===He plays hardball.===

    That was snark, right?

  9. - Always something - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:28 pm:

    TP’s endorsement is more of a negative. She can’t even carry her own Ward where she served as Alderwoman. And as Chairman of the Dem party lost all but 20 precincts. She represents soda tax, sales tax and defund police. That will get you to Chuy’s 35% in 2019.

  10. - Hot Taeks - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:28 pm:

    Poll seems right but we need more polls. I believe Vallas is up by 10 right now. I also predict that a good chunk of undecided voters won’t turnout on April 4th.

  11. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:29 pm:

    No surprise on the Preckwinkle endorsement. She is also the person responsible for our State’s Attorney who refuses to adequately prosecute crimes.

  12. - Amalia - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:31 pm:

    I’m torn about the Preckwinkle endorsement. at first look it is negative because of Foxx. But Preckwinkle is a great example of good government management and Brandon could emphasize that. I found it hilarious that Sawyer chided that Brandon had no government management experience. Coulda said the same of Obama.

  13. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:45 pm:

    == She is also the person responsible for our State’s Attorney who refuses to adequately prosecute crimes.==

    Perhaps the first time but many of the attacks against Foxx existed before the voters chose to reelect her.

  14. - ChicagoBars - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    IIRC President Preckwinkle supported Johnson for County Commissioner to the hilt to get Boykin off the County Board. The only surprise would’ve been if she stayed out this round.

  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:50 pm:

    ===I believe===

    You got any data or is this just your aura speaking?

  16. - Always something - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    TP is one of the most unpopular elected officials in Cook County. She redeemed herself somewhat with Lori’s demise, but she and Kim Foxx both highly unpopular. The far left doesn’t see it that way, but contrary to their beliefs, Chicago is not a far left City. Left- but not Brandon Johnson tax into oblivion, defund police left.

  17. - Chicago Forward - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 12:58 pm:

    1983 polls were dead on in the wards and directionally correct in the citywide polls. More accurate than most. Given the results a week ago, this seems pretty accurate. Would love to see a few others asap

  18. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===1983 is not a competent pollster.===

    What can they do differently? Not report the results of the people who answer the poll?

  19. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===TP is one of the most unpopular elected officials in Cook County===

    Pritzker received 581,497 Chicago votes last November. Preckwinkle received 528,289.

    Yeah, just awful. /s

  20. - Amalia - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 1:11 pm:

    legal note to the guy “cleaning up” the signs. this was the rule we were always told, while it is illegal to place signs on the public way it is also illegal to take them down, unless the taking down is done by the government. well known campaign person doing this is just dumb.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 1:20 pm:

    Keep in mind the *BEST* that the Cook County GOP could come up with to defeat the “worst” Preckwinkle and “more worst” Foxx … Bob Fioretti and Pat O’Brien

    If you can’t explain how the GOP can’t field winnable candidates against these “worst” then maybe sit out on the “unpopular” thing.

    Oh. Wait.

    If you’re gonna go all “Democrat one party rule”, you are already admitting the GOP has no answers for “unpopular” candidates that keep winning at these levels.

    The dynamics of Vallas-Johnson, Preckwinkle isn’t Jesse, but then again NO one is.

  22. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 1:26 pm:

    ==1983 is not a competent pollster==

    Also Podgorski associates with Three Percenters, so there’s that.

  23. - wait what - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 1:39 pm:

    @ Big Dipper - I think you’re mixing pollsters here. Podgorski is M3 not 1983.

  24. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    ==Podgorski is M3 not 1983.==

    My bad. But people did tout his polls.

  25. - R.J. - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 1:55 pm:

    Not a Preckwinkle fan, particularly after a Tribune interview last year where she laughed about crime spreading to Chicago’s affluent areas, but it’s possible she has more support than in 2019 given the disappointment voters felt re: Lightfoot in the ensuing years. People who soured on Lightfoot may now see Preckwinkle as an example of good governance (again, not convinced of this myself, just trying to see it from a regretful Lightfoot voter’s perspective).

  26. - Montrose - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    I don’t think the TP endorsement is a game changer, but as Rich has pointed out, folks need to stop acting like its still 2019.

  27. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    Just Me: please refrain from painting Johnson with the same
    brush as Foxx.

    I have worked with both Tony and Brandon, and they’re decent
    public servants.

  28. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Mar 7, 23 @ 4:01 pm:

    R.J. I don’t think TP laughed at the fact that crime was spreading to afflunt areas. I think she was pointing out that poor communities had to live with the crime and the disruption to life that it causes all the time. And it was impolitic for her to express it, but she was correct.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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