Robert Shaw, a former Chicago alderman and Cook County tax review commissioner, has announced that he will challenge Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to become the mayor in the 2015 mayoral election, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Thursday.
Robert Shaw, 77 began his campaign on Thursday by attacking Rahm Emanuel for having closed many Chicago Public Schools. He also began his campaign by attacking Emanuel’s efforts to cut the benefits of retired city workers.
Many groups, including the Chicago Teachers Union, have wanted a credible candidate to run against Emanuel. Many were hoping that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle would be the one. But as recently as this week, Preckwinkle has said that she is running for Cook County Board President again – and she said she intends to stay in that job for the entire term. She said she does not see her current job as a platform to other positions.
With Shaw being the only other option to Emanuel at this time, the spotlight must be on those two only – thus far. Shaw was in office until 2004. At that time he was on the board of review, looking at county tax assessments. Four years ago, he ran for county assessor but lost that bid.
Shaw says he will bring together the African-Americans, Latinos, and others who are dissatisfied with Emanuel and his policies.
When reminded of Emanuel’s huge re-election fund – reportedly in excess of $5 million – Shaw said that campaign money is for name recognition, and he says he already has name recognition.
When told that he would be splitting the African-American vote if another African-American candidate steps forward to run for mayor, Shaw said, “I am officially announcing today for mayor of Chicago. Any other person that comes forward is splitting.”
When questioned about Emanuel’s likely support from President Barack Obama, Shaw said that people know Emanuel now, and they don’t have to take anybody’s word on him.
There have also been reports that a community organizer by the name of Amara Enyia is going to run for mayor also.