A Latino County Commissioner is reassembling the old Harold Washington coalition and is tied with Chicago's incumbent Neoliberal mayor Rahm Emanuel as they face an April 7 runoff.
|Chicago for Chuy photo|
In These Times reports on the race and the endorsement of Jesús “Chuy” García by Rev Jesse Jackson, a Chicago native whose Rainbow Coalition is headquartered there. García is a commissioner on the powerful Cook County Board. Chicago makes up much of Cook County.
Emanuel, a nominal Democrat and President Obama's first term chief of staff, in his first terms as mayor has attacked the Chicago teacher's union, closed scores of mostly minority neighborhood public schools and relentlessly pushed charter schools, a backdoor public school privatization scheme, and has worked to privatize many city services.
García received 26 percent of the vote to Emanuel's 42 percent in a February primary that included a large field but is now even with Emmanuel in opinion polls. The winner of the April 7 runoff is expected to win the general election in November.
Chicago historically has had a large African American population. It has declined from a high of almost 50 percent in the 1970s to the mid 30s and the city is now now almost 30 percent Hispanic. García would be the city's first Hispanic mayor.
Former Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago's first Black mayor, is often cited for the coalition he assembled, uniting a divided Black community with Labor, Latinos and progressive whites to beat the powerful old Daley machine.