Mayoral Race Forum: Last Chance to Impress Voters Ahead of Election Day - NBC Chicago

Mayoral Race Forum: Last Chance to Impress Voters Ahead of Election Day

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayoral Forum: Last Chance to Impress

    It may have been the last, best chance for some of them to impress voters before Election Day. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019)

    Election night is exactly one week from Tuesday and never before has there been 14 candidates running for mayor--only two will make it to the April run off.   

    The five candidates squaring off in a forum at WTTW-TV, were more agreeable with one another, yet still draw larger contrasts with the current mayor than their opponents.How will they fund city pensions in need of one billion dollars?

    "A casino is not taxes...that could be $300 million to the city every year," said Gery Chico. "Legalized  marijuana, recreational marijuana... $100 to $150 million.”     

    Lori Lightfoot on the other hand says,"there's no sense of urgency around the way in which we are wasting tax payer dollars. There’s a lot of efficiencies we could ring out of the current system. But the reality is we are going to have to have a conversation about revenue." 

    Amara Enyia says she does not support a casino. "I don’t think by the time all of the actors have got their hands into the pot, that it will generate the kind of revenue that we need," she said.These candidates oppose the 'golden parachutes' contracts revealed Tuesday for some of mayor Emanuel's top appointees.

    "It's not ethical at all, it’s typical of what we do here," expressed Garry McCarthy. "We know the financial straights that we’re in, what’s happening is the next mayor, whoever that may be, is getting their hands tied." Moreover, a rally for Toni Preckwinkle took place Tuesday evening at the Chicago Teachers Union.

    Opponents such as Lightfoot and Susana Mendoza, criticized the theme of the event -- questioning why it took  her 6 months to fire her former chief of staff after sexual harassment allegations surfaced.  

    "They've mischaracterized the situation," she said. "As I said, when I had evidence I fired him immediately."

    It had been nearly a month since Preckwinkle took reporters' questions.   

    In a week, Chicagoans will know who will be in the runoff or if there will be a wait until those mail-in votes are counted.

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