CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel had high praise for state Rep. Deb Mell (D-Chicago) on Tuesday, but said she has no guarantee she’ll replace her father, retiring Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), on the Chicago City Council.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Dick Mell has made no secret of his desire to see his daughter replace him as 33rd Ward alderman, but the final choice is up to the mayor.
Emanuel insisted she won’t be given the job simply because of her name, but she won’t be excluded from consideration either.
The mayor noted Deb Mell is a breast cancer survivor, would be the City Council’s first openly lesbian member, and was endorsed by both major newspapers when she ran for state representative.
Regardless, he said she’s not a lock to get her father’s seat. He promised an open and transparent process to select the new alderman in the 33rd Ward.
“I’ll have a standard, as I did in the 7th Ward, which is will the person bring a level of reform, and commitment to public service in representing the entire ward?” Emanuel said.
Dick Mell announced his retirement from the City Council last week, effective July 24.
In February, the mayor picked political neophyte Natashia Holmes, a former Illinois Department of Transportation manager, to replace former Ald. Sandi Jackson in the 7th Ward. Jackson had resigned amid a corruption probe that resulted in both her, and her husband, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., pleading guilty in federal court.
Anyone can apply for the 33rd Ward vacancy on the city’s website, but must have their application in by 5 p.m. Thursday. Applicants must include a résumé and three letters of recommendation.