The big buzz today in Chicago politics, at least in the national progressive press, wasn’t Sen.-designate Roland Burris’ failure to pass the Senate threshold. Rather, elite chatter has focused on the entry of labor attorney Tom Geoghegan into the race for Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District. Unfortunately for Geoghegan, the endorsements of James Fallows, Rick Hertzberg, Kevin Drum and Joe Trippi don’t equal the support of a single Democratic committeeman. While the blogo– and twitter-spheres were a-buzz about Geoghegan, neither the Sun-Times nor the Tribune mentioned him once.
The creators of the Chicago Elections wiki have set up a page on the Race to Replace Rahm, with a total of 18 candidates; Mike Dumke of the Chicago Reader keeps it to 14. With so many candidates, someone could win the March 3 primary with as little of 20% of the vote, but realistically there are six candidates who could win: Aldermen Pat O’Connor and Gene Schulter, State Reps. John Fritchey and Sara Feigenholtz, Cook County commissioner Mike Quigley, and former TSA staffer (and son of a long time alderman) Justin Oberman.
Mayor Daley may be refraining from making an endorsement, meaning the traditional party bosses may split their support among Schulter, Fritchey and O’Connor, should he stay in; Feigenholz and Quigley will wrestle for the progressive vote. (To date, Feigenholz has the best web presence, and $300,000 in the bank.) Feigenholz and former Ald. Eisendrath, with 10.8% each, lead the prediction thread at Eric Zorn’s blog–“Other” is in front with 33%.
One pol who is not a candidate, 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore was named “Most valuable local official” by the Nation in its listing of 2008’s “Most Valuable Progressives.” (via Angela Caputo) (I can already hear the chortles from Rogers Park bloggers such at Chicago News Bench and The Broken Heart of Rogers Park.)