Taking The Fifth

Race to replace Rahm heating up

The race to replace Rahm Emanuel in Congress has already given us something we rarely see in these parts: opposition to Mayor Daley.

All 11 candidates attending a forum at DePaul University on Sunday said they would fight Daley's plan to privatize Midway Airport, the Sun-Timesreports.

The airport is not in the 5th congressional district in which they are running, but maybe the next congressperson from the North Side will make a federal case out of it.

That was just one of a weekend of weird news to emerge from the race.

Another was the whereabouts of Ald. Patrick O'Connor.

"University officials placed 10 telephone calls and e-mails to O'Connor, who never responded to any of them," the Sun-Times report says.

The Tribune, however, reports that O'Connor "said he did not attend the forum because he felt he could communicate with more voters by attending Super Bowl parties."

So you went around to a bunch of parties trying to gin up support for your congressional campaign? Isn't interrupting Super Bowl parties a good way to lose votes? I suspect the only party he attended was his own.

Meanwhile, back at the forum, candidate Charles Wheelan said that two citizens associated with the campaign of physician Paul Bryar challenged his wife's signature on his nominating petitions; Jan Donatelli said that candidate Pete Dagher had his own signature challenged; and Carlos Monteagudo said it took him 72 hours to deal with outrageous petition challenges, according to a live-blog by Progress Illinois.

So this system works!

But that's not all. The lawyer for the Bryar challenges works for Cook County Commissioner Joseph Berrios, Greg Hinz reports. And Bryar's campaign manager says that O'Connor's brother pulled a copy of Bryar's petitions, though he didn't challenge them. Joe Woodward, a spokesman for Bryar, says the campaign is not paying the legal fees for those challenges.

The big dogs in the race right now look to be John Fritchey, Sara Feigenholtz, and Mike Quigley, The Feigenholtz and Quigley campaigns slammed each other over the weekend over Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool's endorsement of Quigley.

Of course, whoever runs wins may have to make way for Emanuel to reclaim his old seat in two years anyway.

But for now, we're just getting started.

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