Three candidates to join mayoral fray this weekend

November 12, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Rahm Emanuel, the former congressman and White House chief of staff, will announce his candidacy for mayor on Saturday. Emanuel may begin running TV ads as soon as Saturday.

On Sunday, Congressman Danny Davis and State Senator James Meeks will declare their candidacies at separate events. Davis is set to declare his candidacy in the morning, while Meeks is expected to officially join the race in the evening.

Giannoulias is coming off a loss in the race for the U.S. Senate. He was reportedly being asked by several aldermen to throw his hat in the ring.

This will be the busiest weekend for mayoral politics so far as the November 22nd petition filing deadline approaches.

"It is a rush job, yes it is," said petition circulator Ed Beachem.

Beachem and his crew knocked on Southwest Side doors Friday, trying to get as many signatures of registered voters as possible. They are working for seven-term Congressman Danny Davis, who joined the mayoral race just over a week ago after being chosen as the consensus black candidate in the race.

"We have to get the signatures of - I think it's about 12,500 at the minimum," said someone "He's probably gonna need about 80,000, I would imagine, just to be safe."

Davis says he expects it will take four to five million dollars in a race with at least six candidates.

"This will be a different kind of campaign," said Davis. "It will require tremendous amounts of energy, lots of research."

Despite Davis's "consensus" designation by a coalition of black leaders, State Senator and Reverend James Meeks and former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun continue their campaigns amid rising concern that the black vote, as much as 40 percent of the city's total, will be divided on February 22nd.

Carol Moseley Braun spoke to a crowd of supporters Friday night about her vision for Chicago. The former senator has yet to formally announce her plans to run for mayor, but she is raising money, hiring staff, and plans to be among the first to file petitions with the election board.

"We're gonna file first thing Monday morning, and then it's off to the races," said Moseley Braun.

Moseley Braun plans to formally announce for the race next weekend.

"If the three run, will the black vote be fragmented? Do the math," said activist Rev. Gregory Daniels. "You're darn right it will be."

Giannoulias doused rumors of his possible run early Friday afternoon.

"Alexi is not running for mayor," said Giannoulias spokesman Kathleen Strand. "He didn't get into public service just to run for office."

ABC7 has learned that several Chicago aldermen are desperately seeking a white candidate to slow the momentum of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Since his return to Chicago in early October, Emanuel has picked up support from some of Mayor Richard M. Daley's allies on the city council.

"I support his candidacy - I think he'd be a great mayor, and I'll be at his announcement tomorrow," said 45th Ward Alderman Patrick Levar.

Another Daley ally, Zoning Committee Chairman and 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis, has thrown his support to former City Colleges of Chicago President Gery Chico.

"As chief of staff for the mayor, as president of the board of education, president of the park district, president of the City Colleges, with his law background, I think he would be the best candidate right now," said Solis.

Chico met with voters Friday night, hosting a fundraiser to help come up with the massive amount of money he needs to run an effective campaign.

"We're gonna have tens of thousands of petitions," said Chico. "As far as the money goes, we're gonna have millions of dollars.

Prospective candidates may begin filing their petitions at the Board of Elections on Monday of next week. 12,500 valid signatures are required to get on the ballot.

The filing deadline is a week later, on November 22nd.

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