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Chicago After Daley Sun Nov 07 2010

African American Leaders Choose Davis For Mayor

This post has been corrected to fix two errors. One was that the coalition had been deliberating for two months. The other was that the SEIU was likely to endorse Rahm Emanuel. I regret both errors.

Rahm Emanuel continues to look like a lock to succeed Mayor Daley but for what it's worth the coalition of black Chicago leaders have finally settled on a coalition candidate: Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7th). Other names the coalition strongly considered included Carol Mosely Braun, state Rep. James Meeks, and Cook County board of Review commissioner Larry Rogers.

The decision shows that the black community is aware of how formidable an opponent Emanuel has become. Emanuel has name recognition, started out with $1.2 million in the bank (and is rumored to have since raised $3.6 million) and is likely to win the support of a lot of influential Chicago constituencies like the Hyde Park liberals who were early supporters of President Obama (and generous fundraisers). Emanuel has also begun to court Chicago's latino community.

So any candidate the African-American community chose would already have a tough battle ahead. And the pickings were slim. Meeks's social conservatism was likely to repel some potential supporters. According to the Tribune the coalition was worried that Braun's time out of Chicago's political world would hinder her campaign. I've personally been skeptical about Braun's chances since the good people of Illinois decided not to reelect her as a U.S. senator --one-term senators in blue states aren't usually commonplace although I'm sure Roland Burris would disagree. The coalition felt, in the words of its chairman, Ald. Walter Burnett, that Rogers "wasn't ready."

So really, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Davis won the coalition's support. According to Early and Often, Burnett said that Burnett can raise a lot of money and understands the city.

"He can bring a lot of money home to Chicago," Burnett said [to Early and Often]. "Another thing in his favor is Danny used to be a alderman. He knows how city government works."

Chicagoist notes that the other finalists and Emanuel don't appear to be phased by the endorsement. Emanuel is still driving his Chicago for Rahm juggernaut along and Meeks and Braun haven't shown any sign of dropping out either.

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