First mayoral campaign ads hit TV

September 23, 2010 (CHICAGO) City Clerk Miguel del Valle is the first candidate to take to the airwaves, and some believe the move raises the bar in what was already expected to be an expensive race for mayor.

Del Valle is not spending a lot of money: ABC7 is to less than $10,000 on cable television this week campaigning for an election five months from now.

"I will not be able to compete with the big guys. I'm one of the little guys. I will be by far out spent. I want to get the message out about who I am and that as a contender I am serious," said Del Valle.

It's a sign of just how serious and expensive the race for Chicago mayor could get.

The 30-second ad airing on cable television during news-oriented programs is simple and to the point.

"I pledge to be the mayor for all Chicago, for every neighborhood," the candidate says in the ad.

The city clerk again raised the stakes for the crowded field of politicians who have at least said they're interesting in becoming the next mayor of Chicago. Del Valle says --and his money spent on the commercials proves -- that he is more than interested, that he is an actual candidate.

"We decided that it's important to get our message out, to let people know that we are running and running hard," Del Valle said.

"For him to put ads up on television, or cable television, I think is a precursor to the large amount of spending that's going to take place in this election," Ald. Joe Moore of the 49th Ward said.

Other potential contenders, as well as Del Valle, have begun petition drives to collect the 12,500 signatures needed to get their names listed on the February 22, 2011 ballot.

"It's one component of making the decision, having the signatures ready to file," said Ald. Bob Fioretti of the 2nd Ward.

But Del Valle is already beginning to list issues.

"When I see people adversely affected by poor education, unemployment and crime, it serves as a constant reminder of how hard we have to work to alleviate these problems," Del Valle says in the ad.

The ad was launched three weeks and a day after Mayor Daley's announcement. The mayor's brother, JP Morgan Chase boss William Daley, is concerned that over-the-top media coverage could make the 2011 campaign a circus.

"You've got as much responsibility and you will cause as much as the craziness as what the politicians do, what the candidates do," William Daley said to members of the news media at the Noon City Club luncheon with former governor Jim Edgar.

They reported on the decline of public education in Illinois.

All of the candidates for mayor have major efforts under way to recruit political troops in all the wards. Of course, those people who worked for Mayor Daley are prime targets.

Sources say White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who is from Chicago, is close to making a decision on whether he will run for mayor public. If so, he could return home and begin campaigning as soon as next month.

Emanuel commissioned a poll to find out what voters think of his possible mayor run. Also, he's spoken to possible opponents, including Congressman Mike Quigley, who won Emanuel's former House seat.

"I think obviously he's very interested in running. I don't think he's made up his mind yet. He just wants to know about the issues I've worked on before," said Congressman Quigley.

If Emanuel decides to run he will need to leave the White House, insiders tell ABC News once he announces a run he will not be able to go back to the chief of staff job. A Quigley spokesperson said he won't make a decision to run for mayor until after his congressional race for reelection in November.

Other possible mayoral candidates are Congressman Danny Davis, Sheriff Tom Dart, Carol Mosely Braun and Alderman Fioretti (2nd Ward).

"If anybody thinks this race will be easy, they are fooling themselves," said Ald. Fioretti, who said he has been circulating petitions.

Candidates have to get 12,500 signatures by the third week of November.

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