Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Carol Moseley Braun Opens Campaign Office

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The former senator inched one step closer to declaring her candidacy.

Carol Moseley Braun is no stranger to campaigning.

“I’ve cut a couple of ribbons in my day, but none more so important that this one,” she said as she cut the ribbon on her Chicago Mayoral Campaign Office.

The office is located in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

“It does not feel any different.We’ve always brought the same groups of people together; I’ve been consistent over the years in terms of my platform and my position on issues,” said Moseley Braun. "We’re going to bring people together from all over this city to begin to get a message out that Chicago can work for everybody."

With a deadline from November 15-22 for candidates to officially declare they’re in the race, it’s  now a frenzied scramble to get the required 15,000 signatures needed to run.

Former Chicago School Board Chief Gery Chico worked the streets of the Beverly neighborhood today. His presence seemed to have an impact on Bill Wolfson, a trader in the Loop.  Chico wrapped up his introduction to Wolfson with a request:  “We’d love to have your vote on February 22."

“Well, you’re the 1st one to reach out to me, so you’ve got a leg up on everyone else,” Wolfson replied.

As Chico knocked on doors one at a time, other candidates seemed closer to locking up larger blocks of support.

A campaign staffer for former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel tells NBC Chicago, the campaign  has picked up the race’s first major labor endorsement.

It’s the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, which will make the endorsement based on the recommendation of the associations’ Chicago based  locals: Pipefitters Local 597, Plumbers Local 130 and Sprinkler Fitters Local 281.  All told the locals represent 17,000 Chicago area members and their families.

Meantime, it’s looking more likely that another political veteran will get into this race: West Side Congressman Danny Davis.  A spokeswoman for the Chicago Coalition for Mayor, an influential group of about 200 African American business leaders and clergy members, tells NBC Chicago it’s decided to endorse Davis as its consensus candidate.

The Coalition originally lent its support to Moseley Braun and Cook County Board of  Review Commissioner  Larry Rodgers.  But fractures within the Coalition, prompted the group to re-open its selection process. And after another round of vetting, the Coalition went with Davis.

Although the campaigns seem to be wasting no time after Tuesday’s election  to crank up their intensity, voters sound ready for what’s ahead, as long as it doesn’t turn nasty like some of the mid-term races. “Are we really going to have a platform of, the other guy sucks. Vote for me. It’s just tiring. Give me an agenda. Give me a platform,” Wolfsan said.

His next door neighbor, Daniel Bell, a cement truck driver, seemed equally interested. “It can be overlooked by other races, but this is truly one of the most important races, being me, myself, a citizen of Chicago all my life.”

“I think this election is unique. Mayor of a city where it’s a very direct relationship with its citizens, whether it’s safe streets, schools, garbage pickup, the lights working., a general quality of life, which touches them in so many ways …so it doesn’t surprise me that people would be engaged even after the bruising elections that we just saw take place,” Chico said.

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