No easy votes from community

A race to succeed Mayor Richard M. Daley officially kicked off in November with 20 candidates–"11 of whom are minority–"vying for the position. Photo by Jason Reblando.

A race to succeed Mayor Richard M. Daley officially kicked off in November with 20 candidates–"11 of whom are minority–"vying for the position. Photo by Jason Reblando.

The news:
By the Nov. 22 deadline, 20 people–”including seven African Americans, three Latinos and one Asian–”filed their petition to run for mayor.

Behind the news:
If voting patterns from recent citywide elections are any guide, none of the 11 minority candidates can count on easy votes from their respective communities, as minority voters did not always vote along racial and ethnic lines.

In the two mayoral elections since 2000, none of the four black candidates earned more than 31 percent of the total votes from predominantly black wards. In 2003, Paul Jakes and Joe McAfee received 26.6 percent and 2 percent of the votes in these wards, respectively. In 2007, Dorothy Brown won 30.8 percent in these communities, while current mayoral candidate William “Dock” Walls mustered only 14.2 percent.

Of the 11 current minority candidates, five have run for office with citywide voting in the past; only three managed to earn more than 75 percent of the votes from their communities.

Carol Moseley-Braun was most successful, winning 90.8 percent in predominantly black wards in her 1998 U.S. Senate bid. Roland Burris won 79.8 percent from predominantly black wards in the 2002 Illinois gubernatorial Democratic primary. Miguel del Valle earned 79.7 percent from predominantly Latino wards in his 2007 city clerk run. Despite the support, del Valle was the only candidate to win any of these races.

Both Walls and Gery Chico performed poorly in their communities. Chico received 27.3 percent from predominantly Latino wards in the 2004 U.S. Senate Democratic primary.

“There are [black] communities saying, –˜We did well with Daley, so we’ll vote for Gery Chico or Rahm Emanuel,'” said Mark Allen, a former national staff member at Rainbow PUSH Coalition and now the associate editor of the South Street Journal.

“A black face does not guarantee black empowerment,” he added.

Comments are closed.