CHICAGO (CBS) – Former police chief Garry McCarthy will run for mayor of Chicago, attempting to take the job from the man who fired him, Rahm Emanuel.
McCarthy has been playing the role of a candidate for some time–from a fundraiser at the Irish American Heritage Center to marching in the South Side Irish parade.
Wednesday night, McCarthy officially threw his hat in the ring, announcing in a campaign video that city government has lost the public’s trust, “because of failed policies, and the endless politics of bluster and bullying.”
“It is no secret that Chicago is on the wrong path. This administration has brought us our failed education system, the overwhelming tax burden on hard-working people, and the violent crime that plagues the entire city. Over the past year, thousands of Chicagoans have approached and encouraged me to run for mayor to fix these problems. Under the current administration, we’ve heard nothing but broken promises from City Hall. When our Mayor focuses on politics, and not problem solving, none of us can move forward. It’s time for new leadership that will fix our problems and pull us together,” McCarthy said in a statement. “After thoughtful consideration and at the urging of my supporters, community leaders, and my family, I am officially announcing that I am running for Mayor of Chicago. With your help, I will humbly work in service to this city, each and every day.”
Dick Simpson, a political science professor and former alderman, said McCarthy will certainly mix things up.
“It will make a much more lively and interesting race,” Simpson said. “I can imagine already the debate over policing.”
Fighting crime is a strength for McCarthy, but Simpson says there are a number of other issues including education, jobs and the economy that will require a learning curve.
That’s not his only hurdle.
“I don’t think that he connects well because of his role in law-enforcement with the black and Latino communities,” Simpson said.
Emanuel fired McCarthy after release of a video that showed Laquan McDonald being shot multiple times by officer Jason Van Dyke.
And Simpson points out McCarthy will be part of an already crowded field of potential challengers including: Troy Laraviere, a former principal; Neal Sales Griffin, a technologist; Bridget Gainer, a Cook County commissioner; and Paul Vallas, ex boss of the Chicago Public Schools.
“I don’t think Garry McCarthy can be elected. I think he has support … I can’t tell you how much, maybe 20 percent. Maybe a little more.”
But Simpson said McCarthy and Vallas could split the white vote, spelling trouble for Emanuel.