Chicago mayoral candidates in full campaign mode

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Friday was a very busy day on the campaign trail in the race for mayor. Education and the economy were the dominant themes as the five candidates worked to get their message out.

All the candidate who will appear on the February 24 ballot for mayor are in full campaign mode. Four of the five had public events Friday as the race intensifies.

It was not listed as a campaign appearance, but the incumbent used the ribbon-cutting for DHL's new forwarding center at O'Hare to repeat one of his favorite campaign narratives.

"Continue to invest in our community colleges and our school system ensures companies like DHL will have the best-educated and trained workforce," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

But businessman Willie Wilson, announcing support from West Side ministers, said Emanuel's school closings set back education in the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods.

"I'll make sure that all citizens will receive the same attention that downtown Chicago receives," Wilson said.

Meanwhile, during a recording for ABC7's Newsviews, candidate William "Dock" Walls said he supports bible studies in public schools.

"Teaching the Bible in the schools, not preaching the Bible is something that I think would be beneficial to everybody," Walls said.

Jesus "Chuy" Garcia spent the day in private raising money after appearing Thursday with his most high-profile supporter CTU President Karen Lewis.

"She represents fighting for good causes, standing up for what you believe in and winning," Garcia said.

And Ald. Bob Fioretti, announcing his economic agenda, opposed any increase in property taxes but endorsed possible new taxes on financial transactions and commuters.

"I think that ensures fairness for people who want to use this city, that want to be in this city and work in this city," Fioretti said.

A forum for mayoral candidates at the University of Illinois-Chicago fizzled Friday afternoon when Mayor Emanuel and Jesus Garcia did not participate.

The series of five candidate debates do not begin until the week after next.

All five candidates for Chicago mayor will be together for a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters set for February 5 on ABC 7.
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