Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

CTU May Want Karen Lewis For Chicago Mayor

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School Leaders React to End of Strike

School Board President David Vitale and CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard speak to reporters after the teacher union voted to end their strike.

Karen Lewis' "Solidarity Rally" Speech

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis shared a message with teachers during a "Solidarity Rally" on Saturday in Union Park. "We are on strike," Lewis told the crowd. "We have a framework, we do not have an agreement." Her message was delivered as officials from CTU and Chicago Public Schools try to hammer out a deal that would end the week-long strike and put students back in the classroom.
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Turns out Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle isn't the only person with potential interest in the 2015 mayoral race.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who negotiated through this summer's strike on behalf of Chicago Public Schools teachers, might also be on the list to run against Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Sources close to the CTU said the union "is going to put big bucks behind a candidate."

Will that candidate be Lewis? CTU members are encouraging her to run, and while she said she won't do it, sources expect supporters to form an exploratory committee anyway.  

CTU is even asking members to double their contributions to their political action committee as the union eyes not just the mayor's race but City Council and statewide races too.

Speculation spiked Thursday when Preckwinkle publicly criticized Emanuel and his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, about the city's violence like no other politician has been willing to do.

"Clearly, this mayor and this police chief have decided the way in which they are going to deal with the terrible violence that faces our community is just arrest everybody. I don’t think in the long term that’s going to be successful," she said during a lunch-time speech at the Union League Club.

She later tempered her criticism, saying it wasn't aimed directly at Emanuel.

"This was a critique of all of us, it wasn’t aimed at the mayor," she said.

The next mayoral election is slated for February of 2015.
 

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