In what might be a preview of a future mayoral run, the leader of "No Games Chicago" has announced his candidacy for Cook County Board.
"After almost 30 years of active civic life in this great city I‘ve come to the conclusion that I’m tired of chasing bad policy and trying to stop projects that rip up parks, loot our treasury and reward the connected few," Tom Tresser said in announcing his bid.
"I don’t want to go through another Protect Our Parks fight to stop greedy unchecked grabs of public assets and I certainly don’t want to endure another No Games Chicago struggle to stop a mega-project from completely wrecking our finances while enriching the same crowd of insiders. I would like to help make good policy and be part of a smart and honest government – rather than rail against wrong-headed policy and the litany of public corruption that has become Chicago’s and Cook County’s unofficial theme song."
Tresser joins an already crowded field but with a decided advantage: He's running as a member of the Green Party. Assuming he gets the Green Party nomination, he'll have a clear shot at the Democratic nominee. Oh, and the Republican.
Still, his chances of upending a Toni Preckwinkle or even a Todd Stroger if he manages to triumph in his primary can't be good.
Like the U.S. Senate campaign of former city inspector general David Hoffman, this campaign has the tint of a test-run for a Daley challenge. But maybe Tresser - who teaches at DePaul and the School of the Art Institute - has a passion for Cook County government that we don't know about.
Or maybe, as Gregory Tejeda suggests at the Chicago Argus, the time to strike is now for Tresser.
"In a typical election year, I'd think that Tresser's campaign was a waste of time," Tejeda writes. "I wouldn't bother giving it any thought. But this is not a typical election year."
And Tresser's profile may never be higher.
So go for it, Tom. Why not?
If he gets a shot at Stroger, he becomes the only hope (well, there will be a Republican) to overcome the Machine. And if he squares off against Preckwinkle, remember: She was for the Games - and with Daley.
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.