20th Ward Candidates Seek To Sway Voters

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Willie Cochran, Che "Rhymefest" Smith

Ald. Willie Cochran (left) will face Che “Rhymefest” Smith in the 20th Ward runoff race. (Credit: CBS/AP)

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) is trying to show his support is rising as he faces a re-election challenge from a high-profile challenger.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports from City Hall, the challenger, rap artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith boasted being backed by the other candidates who are trying to unseat Cochran.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

But Cochran stood Thursday with a crowd of supporters, including representatives of the Service Employees International Union and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce – in other words, both labor and business.

“The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce knows that I have recruited businesses, and I am pro-business,” Cochran said.

If Smith’s music appeals to younger voters, Cochran said his own deeds can too.

“I think the language of engaging youth is jobs,” Cochran said. “I think the language of engaging youth is putting programs in places where they can have their voice heard.”

Cochran has taken Smith to task for his rap lyrics, which have included references to guns and selling drugs. But Smith has countered that this is irrelevant to the problems facing the 20th Ward, according to past reports.

The ward includes parts of the Woodlawn, Washington Park, Grand Crossing, Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.

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