The campaign for Chicago Mayor between the scions of the city’s two most prominent political dynasties has begun in earnest. The message from Jesse, Jr is that after 17 years of Daley misrule, it is time for a change.
Jesse’s message is non-racial on the surface but definitely implies a coded racial message of solidarity to African American voters when he mentions the bogus minority contract scandals embroiling the Daley Administration and a similar imbroglio at O’hare airport.
Charging that taxpayers paid over $600 million for waste, fraud and abuse for contracting and hiring fraud because of Daley policies, Jackson strikes a rare conservative note that is both interesting and shrewd. Forrest Claypool, in his run for Cook County Board President, struck this same theme of reform in his run this year.
Jesse Jr’s message to his PUSH audience is an effort to gain at least 12,000 signatures to get on the ballot and an ambitious effort to gain 150,000. This signals to anyone listening the biggest mobilization of African American voters since Harold Washington’s historic 83 effort. This will be an epic battle for power in a racially divided and economically stratified city. I look forward to watching it.