By now, Rahm Emanuel, Carol Moseley Braun, Gery Chico, Danny Davis, Miguel del Valle and James Meeks are household names in Chicago. But they’re not the only ones running for mayor. A total of 20 people filed mayoral petitions at City Hall on Monday. Here’s a rundown of candidates you’ve never heard of before -- and will probably never hear of again.
M. Tricia Lee: Lee’s qualifications: she’s a fourth-generation Chicagoan, and a member of the first class of women to attend the University of Notre Dame. Her plans for Chicago include building two city halls -- one for the North and West sides, another for the South and East Sides -- firing schools chief Ron Huberman, and exempting residents over 80 years from utility bills. Lee also wants to “Get rid of Oprah/Stop violence in Englewood and Roseland,” although she doesn’t specify how getting rid of Oprah would reduce crime on the South Side.
John Hu: Hu, who grew up near Harlem and Foster, and now lives downtown, was inspired to run for office by the parking meter deal. “How could these politicians who never pay for parking or even drive their own cars know what it is like to park in Chicago? I knew they had lost touch with the citizens,” he says on his website. Hu, a real estate broker, wants a forensic audit of the city’s finances to identify waste and inefficiency. He also wants to hire a new police superintendent, from the ranks of the department, and put 1,000 more cops on the street. Hu would be the first Asian-American mayor of a major city.
Jay Stone: This is not the first rodeo for Stone, a licensed hypnotherapist and past-life regression counselor who is also the son of 50th Ward Ald. Berny Stone. In 2003, Stone ran for alderman of the 32nd Ward. His father endorsed the incumbent, explaining “I love my son,” but “he doesn’t know anything about politics.” Stone, a reformer, credits himself for helping to pass the new law limiting campaign contributions to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for companies. He also wants to reduce the number of signatures required to get on the ballot, from the current 12,500. Stone’s petitions reportedly contain only 280 signatures, so he needs that law passed pronto.
Roland Burris: You may not have heard of Burris because he’s been working in Washington, D.C., for the last two years, as Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s last political appointee. Burris has also been out of the spotlight because he last won an election in 1990, when Illinois voters chose him as their attorney general, after three terms as comptroller. Among Burris’s other accomplishments: he was a Southern Illinois University exchange student to the University of Hamburg.
You can see the complete list of mayoral candidates at the Chicago Mayoral Scorecard.