CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s mayoral election is four days away and 14 candidates for mayor are hoping to make a last minute appeal to voters.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley follows the momentum and the money.
With the election just days away, the mayoral candidates are letting it all hang out. At a Malcolm X College forum, Susana Mendoza had some choice words for two who didn’t show up: Toni Preckwinkle and Bill Daley.
“We don’t need any more Daleys. We don’t need Toni Preckwinkles who won’t show up to answer questions either,” Mendoza said.
In fact, except for Mendoza, all the candidates who’ve raked in the most last-minute money skipped the forum. Topped by far by Bill Daley, who collected close to three million dollars just within the last two weeks, with two million of that donated by Illinois’ richest man, billionaire Ken Griffin.
Daley is followed by Gery Chico at $387,000. Toni Preckwinkle with $362,000. Mendoza: $222,000 and Lori Lightfoot with $190,000. But some question how much that money has bought.
“The candidates who entered the race after (Rahm) Emanuel dropped out have spent maybe six million in advertising and haven’t budged in the polls, I think gives me a sense of optimism,” said candidate Paul Vallas.
Up until this week, Preckwinkle and Daley have been viewed as front-runners. But various polls indicate the race is tightening with Chico, Lightfoot and Mendoza all seen as possibly within striking distance. Weak turnout for early voting signals a lack of enthusiasm, with up to a quarter of voters still undecided.
“I think that’s a reflection on the confusion of the voters who don’t want to go the same way that we’ve been going,” said candidate Garry McCarthy.
“Those undecideds are more important because every vote is going to make a difference in this race,” Mendoza said.
Various sources tell CBS 2 Gery Chico and Lori Lightfoot both seem to be moving up, with Bill Daley perhaps damaged by critical TV ads funded by the construction equipment operators union. Now, Daley is spending heavily to answer those ads.
But overall Chicagoans seem somewhat bewildered, by something they’ve never experienced: A genuinely wide-open, freewheeling mayoral race.