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article imageCan this woman defeat Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel? Special

By John Presta     Aug 20, 2014 in Politics
Chicago - Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is on a mission to assure that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a one-termer. Ms. Lewis' preference was someone run against Emanuel and accomplish this mission. A credible candidate has yet to come forward.
There is bad blood between these two high-profile Chicagoans, emanating back to Mayor Emanuel's first days in office when he told Ms. Lewis during a "longer school day" discussion, "Fuck you Lewis!"
Ms. Lewis confirmed the story and Mayor Emanuel has not denied it.
Those harsh remarks by Mayor Emanuel to Ms. Lewis likely set the stage a couple of years later for a Chicago Public "teacher's strike," and among the issues were a "longer school day.
Getting back to the mission assuring that Emanuel is a one-term mayor, it appears that Ms. Lewis will be taking on that job herself. In fact, at an event attended by the Digital Journal reporter, Lewis told a packed house filled with supporters, teachers, police officers, firefighters and concerned parents and residents, she is now "seriously considering" a run for Mayor of Chicago. Ms. Lewis has evolved from just "thinking about it" to "seriously considering" her run.
Make no mistake, this election is personal. Well-known and popular former Chicago television anchor, Walter Jacobson, asked Ms. Lewis if she "hated" Emanuel and she responded "No, I don't hate him." Mr. Jacobson then followed up by asking, "Does he hate you?" to which she responded, "Oh probably."
In another sign that she is serious, she had earlier in the day filed with the Illinois Election Board a D-1 for a new campaign committee, Citizens to Elect Karen Lewis Mayor of Chicago. “I did file my D-1 in order for us to comply with campaign finance laws in Illinois," Ms. Lewis said to thundering applause from the partisan crowd of supporters.
Ms. Lewis also said she will be circulating petitions for placement on the ballot next Feb. 24, 2015 for the Chicago Municipal Elections, in which a mayor, city clerk, city treasurer and 50 aldermen will be elected. 12,500 valid signatures are needed. The circulation of petitions will be a good way for "me to measure the level of support in the community," said Ms. Lewis.
The fear for many candidates in taking on Mr. Emanuel can be summed up in one word: Money.
Ms. Lewis is expected to receive a boost from the American Federation of Teachers if she decides to run. The union is committed to donating up to $1 million to support a Ms. Lewis.
"When rumors began stirring about the possibility of Karen running for mayor, the AFT executive council told her if she did, we would be all in," AFT President Randi Weingarten said. Expect other unions to support Ms. Lewis in the event she jumps in the race. When asked by Jacobson how much it will take to run, she quipped, "Four to seven million." Thinking for a minute, "Maybe seven to ten million."
It will take some big bucks.
Ms. Lewis also said she will be recruiting "progressive" candidates throughout the city of Chicago to run for alderman, to oppose pro-Emanuel elected officials.
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, is the first day to circulate for signature candidate nominating petitions for the Chicago elective offices of Mayor, Clerk, Treasurer and Alderman. The petition period extends to Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, which is the first day a candidate can file until the final day of filing on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.
Municipal General Election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, with early voting beginning Feb. 9, 2014, and extending through Saturday, Feb. 21, 2014.
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