Congressman Bobby Rush endorses Bill Daley in mayor's race

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As the mayor's race heads into the final three weeks, candidates continue to roll out endorsements.

On Friday, longtime Congressman Bobby Rush threw his support behind Bill Daley. It comes on the first day of Black History Month and is an important endorsement for Daley, but is also significant because it speaks to how the very important black vote in Chicago is divided in a race in which six of the 14 candidates are African American.

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Surrounded by a group of African American supporters gathered at the Harold Washington Cultural Center, Congressman Rush called this mayoral election one of the most important in decades.

"I am proud to stand here on hallowed ground to support Bill Daley for mayor of the city of Chicago," Rush said.

His endorsement comes one day after Dorothy Brown threw her support behind Amara Enyia and a week after numerous African American aldermen and county commissioners embraced Toni Preckwinkle in her bid for mayor.

Rush said while he and Daley have had differences over the years, it was Daley's commitment to fighting crime, helping neighborhoods and his business background that led to the endorsement.

"You don't need this job," Rush said looking at Daley, "but Chicago needs you."

"I take the challenge Bobby Rush's endorsement brings to me and that is to be a mayor that represents the entire city," Daley said.

Rush said he did not see Daley being the next Rahm Emanuel.

"He's never hesitated to ask, 'well what do you think?' Rahm very seldom asks 'well, what do you think?' Rahm always says, 'I think,'" Rush said.

Daley meanwhile says he's focused on the final three weeks until the election.

"I feel good about where we're at, I feel good about the support we're getting, both financial and politically, obviously this is a big endorsement, it kind of shakes up the field, I'm sure it wasn't expected by most people, I was surprised, quite frankly," Daley said.

One longtime African American political consultant suggested that while Rush's endorsement is good for Daley, it may not sway a lot of votes.
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