Crain's Chicago Business' editorial board has backed Bill Daley in the race for Chicago mayor, following the Chicago Tribune's endorsement of Daley earlier this week and the Chicago Sun-Times' endorsement of Lori Lightfoot last week.
"Among this set of deeply flawed candidates," Crain's wrote, "the only nearly acceptable choice for voters who care about nursing Chicago back to financial health and keeping it on a job-growth track turns out to be, paradoxically, a scion of a storied Chicago political family that virtually defines the old Machine: William Daley."
While Crain's pointed out strengths of those "on the short list of credible candidates," like Lightfoot, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Toni Preckwinkle," the publication wrote, "Daley is willing to push for the toughest path toward a cure for what ails Chicago."
An exclusive Telemundo Chicago/NBC 5 poll of 625 registered voters showed Cook County Board President Preckwinkle barely leading the 14-person pack of candidates with 14 percent of the vote. Following her was Bill Daley at 13 percent, Mendoza at 12 percent, Lightfoot at 10 percent, Gery Chico at 9 percent and Amara Enyia at 7 percent.
Crain's board noted the city needs a candidate that will boost revenue, attack costs and crack the pension cost problem, initiatives the publication said Daley is willing and able to do.
The board notes he "isn't the perfect candidate -- not by a long shot" but focused on what it said is his worth in shoring up Chicago's "long-term viability as a great place to live, work and invest."
"Daley’s main plus—as absurd as it may sound in a progressive political season in which the old boys’ network is so out of fashion—is his connectedness," Crain's wrote. "Yes, his family name is Chicago politics personified, but he knows how government works, seems to understand that it should work better, knows what’s at stake as the city seeks to remain a global powerhouse, and will surround himself with capable people who can deal with the complexity this moment presents."
Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune pointed to Daley's "forward-focused credo" for the city, his candor and leadership, as well as his high-profile political resume as a former White House chief of staff and U.S. Secretary of Commerce, among a list of reasons why he was the paper's choice for mayor.
The Sun-Times board on Friday endorsed Lightfoot, identifying her as the mayoral candidate with "the vision, values, qualifications and policies to be an effective leader for the whole city" and the candidate "who will confront our city’s most intractable problems in ways that, finally, pull every Chicagoan along."
In response to the Chicago Tribune's endorsement, Daley wrote:
"I am honored to receive the Chicago Tribune’s endorsement for mayor of Chicago," Daley said in a statement. "My focus on getting guns and gangs off the streets, freezing property taxes and growing our way forward is resonating with Chicagoans in every part of the city. Chicago must be a place where all people can live, safely raise their families and afford to build a future. With the help of the people of Chicago, I am ready to get the job done. I’m grateful for the support, and look forward to building a better future for all Chicagoans."
In response to the Chicago Sun-Times endorsement, Lightfoot wrote:
"It’s a great honor to receive the endorsement of the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board," Lightfoot said in a statement. "Voters don’t want a Chicago machine candidate. This race is about whether we’re resigned to the broken past or resolved to fight for something more. It’s about shining a light on the corruption and backroom deals that haven’t served us. It’s a race that’s rattled by corruption scandals in a city that’s sick and tired of the old Chicago way."