The race for Chicago mayor comes with a spotlight like no other, and on Wednesday, candidates Susana Mendoza and Amara Enyia faced unexpected questions as they look to win the city’s top job.
For Mendoza, those questions surrounded a fundraising event to be held in her honor. That event, hosted by Alderman Joe Moreno, is stirring up questions after it was revealed that the alderman is facing a Chicago police investigation into whether he filed a false police report over a car he said was stolen.
That car was later found with a woman he says he has dated. Despite that controversy, Mendoza did not distance herself from Moreno.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s campaign was quick to pounce on the controversy, as it released a statement noting Mendoza and Moreno once dated. Also, it was revealed that Mendoza loaned Moreno more than $50,000 in a previous political campaign in 2007.
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“I’ve always supported candidates who want to run for office, here and there, in different ways,” Mendoza said when asked about the controversy. “I think that’s a good thing. I’m always going to be somebody who tries to help people up the ladder.”
Mendoza, however adds she will not be attending the February 20th Moreno fundraiser. The Illinois comptroller says she will be in Springfield that day for Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s budget speech.
Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot also criticized Mendoza saying that her ties to several controversial aldermen offer proof that voters have had “enough already.”
Lightfoot says that voters should move away from Mendoza, who has also been linked to Aldermen Ed Burke and Danny Solis as they face investigations of their own.
“Let’s break from the past and let’s move forward in a totally different direction,” she said.
In a separate controversy, Enyia is being asked about details on her resume. She says she received her PhD in Education from the University of Illinois in October 2010, but the National Student Clearing House verifies that she received that degree in May 2011.
She also says she received her law degree in May 2009, but the verification service shows it was awarded to her in May 2010.
When asked about the discrepancies, Enyia dismissed concerns, saying that “the dates may be off, (and) that is something we can look into, but the degrees are there, they were legitimately obtained.”
As for whether her sloppiness in her resume, and other questions she’s also faced on not filing her income taxes in a timely manner disqualify her, Enyia again dismissed the concerns.
“We have individuals who have been in office for decades and yet we’re still experiencing the results of their leadership, which is a city that is suffering financially, that is very much divided and is in need for significant change,” she said.