CHICAGO (CBS) – The man who may be Rahm Emanuel’s biggest threat to re-election in 2019 jumped into the mayor’s race Wednesday.
Former Chicago Schools CEO Paul Vallas offered a long list of what he called Emanuel’s failures and a peak at how he would govern differently.
As CBS 2’s political reporter Derrick Blakley reports, Paul Vallas says the 2019 election will be a referendum on both Rahm Emanuel’s two-term tenure and the solutions Vallas intends to propose.
“It will be a referendum because I’m gonna tell people what he could have done and what I’m gonna do that he failed to do and what he continues to fail to do,” said Vallas.
Under Mayor Richard Daley, Vallas served as Chicago’s revenue director and budget director. Daley appointed him to lead Chicago’s schools from 1992-2001.
“He knows I’m a threat because I balanced 10 consecutive budgets. I fully funded pensions. I got 13 bond rating upgrades. I built $3 billion in schools and put those schools in all communities,” said Vallas.
Vallas accused Emanuel of dragging his feet on the city pension crisis.
“Waiting until the second term only increased the cost of the financial bailout,” Vallas stated.
Vallas said that Emanuel suppressed the Laquan McDonald police shooting video.
Emanuel said he never viewed dashcam pictures before they were publicly released.
“I believe if he hadn’t seen the video he should have and I believe he should have disclosed the video before the election. Period,” stated Vallas.
Blakley reports, despite having a heavy campaign war chest and the advantage of incumbency, Vallas says there’s one disadvantage Emanuel simply can’t overcome.
“People just don’t like the mayor. Sorry, they don’t like you. You’re a bully. You intimidate people,” said Vallas.
Vallas joins a crowded field for next February’s mayoral contest. There are eight declared candidates, but the field is expected to shrink by the November filing deadline.
Vallas says he wants to be a mayor for the neighborhoods and a mayor for all Chicago, implying Emanuel has focused too much on downtown on big building projects and on big-money donors.
Vallas says he intends to raise at least $3 million and as much as $5 million for the campaign.