Handicapping a post-Daley 2011 Chicago Mayoral Race

As I mentioned on Twitter last week (and on this blog last year), I suffer from mayoral race envy, for I live in a town that hasn’t seen a competitive contest since Richard Daley was elected 19 years ago. This jealousy was only heightened by listening to the Guardian’s special Politics Weekly podcast on Boris Johnson’s electoral triumph. Rather than leave Chicago, I’ve begun to imagine what a real 2011 mayoral election might look like.

Obviously, should Mayor Daley decide to (or, pending ongoing corruption investigations, not be able to) run for re-election, he will be the favorite to be re-elected. Whether or not that would be the best thing for the city, it is not a particularly exciting prospect for a political junkie daydreaming about 2011. So let’s ignore him.

After Daley, any list of 2011 candidates begins with two Congressmen who came close to challenging Daley last year, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Luis Gutierrez. As Walter Jacobson pointed out on Chicago Public Radio,, and as was pointed out here, one of them could end up being our next Senator– of the two, I’d bet on Gutierrez. City Clerk Miguel Del Valle has been turning up at several benefit dinners in the Loop this spring, and I trust that it’s not due to a love for rubber chicken and weak coffee. I’d place Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool into a non-Daley second tier with Del Valle. Two wild cards who may be better off waiting for 2015, are SEIU favorite Ald. Sandi Jackson (Jesse’s spouse) and States Attorney nominee Anita Alvarez. For a wild, wild card, let’s toss U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s name into the ring.

February 2011 seems like a long ways away, but it will be here before you know it.

8 thoughts on “Handicapping a post-Daley 2011 Chicago Mayoral Race

  1. rumors are swirling in clinton circles that obama loyalist john bracken will make a bid to unseat daley in 2011, ala boris. a bracken chicago would take the metropolis out of play for lord rodham’s race to unseat president mccain in 2012.

  2. Yes my dear friend, 2011 will a a Chicago Mayoral race to remember. I will not make my candidacy official until mid 2009, nevertheless, be informed that I have been planning the complete exposure of Richard Michael Daley and his corrupted followers that have cheated the citizens of Chicago long enough. I count with politicl volunteer base of more than 12,000 citizens and close to 3 million dollars for the campaign chest. Yes, 2011 is a year that many heads will roll, including, but not limited to several Cook County fakers. Continue your investigations and I will be happy to inform you of several pieces of information, I have paid dearly to obtain. Respectfully, pleased2meetuhopeuguessmyname@gmail.com

  3. Also, with Daley’s son off in the military and all, maybe he’s being prepped for a triumphant return after his tour. A future as the prototypical war hero/politician isn’t that big a stretch, I think.

  4. A lot of folks I talk to are convinced that Patrick is being groomed, Daniel. I’m less skeptical about his motives for putting his life on the line, but certainly his service experience will give him a boost up in whatever he pursues next.

  5. I am look forward to wiping the slate clean of Mayor Daley and the rest of his henchmen. I’m sick of politics as usual in Chicago. Hurry up 2011!

  6. Hey how great would it be if an honest Judge that fights corruption, was to be elected Mayor. Check out the story on Judge Richard Posner – stopping fast Eddie from getting off on only probation. http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/1933286,CST-NWS-vrdolyak11.article This guy is the real deal. Check out the Wikipedia Article on him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Posner or here: http://home.uchicago.edu/~rposner/

    Here’s my idea – Lets DRAFT this guy ! He would clean up this city in no time.

  7. Fascinating, John. I also have heard James Houlihan’s name and, of course from out here in DC, Rahm Emanuel’s. There are good reasons that strong Latino candidates should be expected. Of course, if Mayor Daley decides to do it again, as you note, it is a lot less interesting.

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