As the crowded race for Chicago mayor heats up – and with 21 candidates who hope to be on the ballot – those campaigns are hiring field staff for the work ahead. A political consultant firm working with Toni Preckwinkle’s campaign is recommending the current Cook County Board president hire workers from out of town.
An internal email was forwarded to NBC 5 from Democracy Partners Recruiting Services. It provides advice for interviewing field staff including going over job requirements, the possible seven-day workload and recommends:
“It will be so much better for the campaign if we can get out-of-towners instead of Locals, who have distractions, family, friends. If we need to fire someone for being trump-y with the ladies, or missing numbers, it'd be far better if they leave town than hang around to try to make trouble.”
A spokesman for the Preckwinkle campaign says “this is not our position, the majority of our staff is from right here; this does not represent our position.”
Preckwinkle’s currently has 33 staffers with three of them from outside Chicago.
"The consultant's communication does not reflect the campaign’s policy or the makeup of our staff," said campaign spokeswoman Monica Trevino. "We will be running a robust campaign in all fifty wards and our staff reflects the richness and diversity of Chicago’s voters."
Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot issued a statement Tuesday expressing her dismay over the email.
“These hiring recommendations are particularly disturbing given that they come after the Tribune's reporting on Preckwinkle Chief of Staff John Keller's sexual assault of a woman in November 2016, after Preckwinkle's failure to remove him from power in a timely manner, and after Preckwinkle’s shifting explanations to the media and voters," she said.
Paul Vallas aslo weighed in.
"That Preckwinkle's advisors could have even thought hiring out-of-towners might be a good idea suggests a disconnect between the candidate and Chicago voters," he said. "In light of her problems with her chief of staff and head of her security detail shows a pattern of very questionable judgments on personnel matters."
Democracy Partners provides political messaging, campaign planning, direct mail and web site development.
There is an ad posted online from Democracy Partners looking for campaign staffers, while it does not name Preckwinkle, her campaign confirms it is a consultant working with the Preckwinkle campaign.