Cook County Clerk David Orr is taking cues from Karen Lewis.
A month after the powerful Chicago Teachers Union president publicly endorsed Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for mayor (after a devastating brain cancer diagnosis forced her to bow out of consideration), Orr followed suit Sunday, appearing alongside the candidate to bestow his own blessing—and rip Rahm Emanuel in the process.
"The mayor, with millions, has a hard time getting signatures on his petitions. Chuy Garcia in three weeks, spending no money—all volunteers—got 60-some thousand. In another week, they probably would have gotten 90,000," Orr told the Chicago Sun-Times, calling Garcia "humble, which is unusual for a politician."
An Emanuel spokesman declined comment on Orr's remarks.
Beyond Garcia, the race to oust the polarizing, pragmatic and increasingly progressive incumbent from office includes 2nd Ward. Ald. Bob Fioretti, who kicked off his campaign weeks before Garcia entered the fray.
Orr, who was interim mayor in 1987 following the death of Harold Washington, predicted that the progressive operation that maneuvered the successful 2013 campaign of uber-liberal New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will have claws in Chicago.
"I think there is a groundswell that people aren't seeing," stated Orr, according to the Sun-Times. "We have progressive mayors (in cities) around the (U.S.)—Chicago is not one of them. Chuy is just like these people all across the country ... where the people said, 'We need someone who really understands and works for all the people.'"