Danny Davis steps up his campaign for mayor

December 20, 2010 (CHICAGO)

He has some catching up to do since other candidates in the race have been out campaigning for weeks.

Davis is a former alderman and Cook County commissioner who ran for mayor the first time back in 1991. He has represented Chicago in Washington for the past 14 years. In fact, the "lame duck" session of Congress has delayed Davis's current campaign for Chicago's top elected job.

"Danny Davis when in Washington dealt with Chicago issues," Davis said Monday. Congressman Davis admits the meet-and-greet part of his campaign is late getting started. But the veteran lawmaker insists he is serious about running for mayor and that voters should view his service in Washington as a plus.

"I don't find that being a member of Congress negates getting ready to be mayor of the City of Chicago. We deal with the same kinds of issues," said Davis.

After filing his petitions in mid-November, and winning the lottery to be the first name on the February ballot, the 69-year-old Davis returned to the capitol for the critical debate and vote on tax policy.

Davis has missed many -- if not most -- of the candidate forums and is playing catch-up in publicizing his plans for the Chicago Public Schools.

"We need an elected school board," said Davis. "We also need a professional educator at the top of the system right now."

Davis said he is not intimidated by the well-financed campaign of former congressman and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel said Monday he would use TIF money to hire new police officers to avoid transferring cops from low to high-crime neighborhoods.

"Rather than take from one part of a neighborhood to another, which is pitting one part of the city against the other-- I do not think the city should be pitted against itself. I think all of us have to move forward together," said Emanuel.

"If you've got a high crime area, you certainly want to put the manpower in there that you need," said Davis.

Davis said he was encouraged by last week's Chicago Tribune that showed him in a tie for second place in the mayor's race.

And, Davis said, the poll showed front-runner Emanuel's support on the decline.

"That individual's polling numbers are going down, not up," said Davis. "They've gone down consistently."

Davis also has opened the first of what he says will be several campaign offices as well as a campaign website.

The congressman has a standing campaign fund but he will need much money to wage the campaign. He was busy Monday trying to raise it.

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