If Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was a quarterback under Mike Ditka, he’d probably be riding the bench next season.
According to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times, state records show Ditka gave $2,500 last month to Emanuel challenger Ald. Bob Fioretti’s campaign fund.
Ditka told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that his contribution is based mostly on his disapproval of Emanuel, noting that he hopes the mayor will end up like Pat Quinn, who lost the governor’s race to Bruce Rauner. Ditka supported Rauner by appearing in a campaign commercial with the then Republican challenger.
“Well, I think anything is better than what we have,” Ditka said. “Same with the governor. That was proven already. Chicago is a great city. You deserve leadership and straight-up people to operate it. You know, shame on you.”
Ditka also noted that Fioretti is a frequent visitor of one of his five restaurants.
The move, which seems unusual for the typically right-leaning coach, is reportedly only the second campaign contribution Da Coach has made, following the $5,000 he gave to former Bears kicker Bob Thomas’ campaign for the state Supreme Court nearly 15 years ago.
"It's always helpful to have MIke Ditka, he's a true Chicagoan, still owns property here, a restaurant here," Fioretti said.
Emanuel’s re-election campaign spokesman said in a statement, “Da Coach was a great Chicagoan,” but declined to comment any further on the matter.