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Race Still a Factor in Mayoral Election. Just Not As Much

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 22, 2011 2:30PM

2011_1_22_voting.jpg We've been saying, with regard to the "consensus Black candidate" fight in the Mayoral campaign that ultimately settled on Carol Moseley Braun, that race is still a factor in the election, just not in the way Braun, Danny Davis or James Meeks wanted to frame it, using a playbook written at the height of the Civil Rights movement that just seems a tad bit antiquated in an America where Barack Obama crafted a wide coalition of voters to become President. A new Tribune poll shows that a lot of folks throughout the city share our sentiments about this.

Of the 708 registered city voters contacted for this poll, 75 percent said race or ethnic backgrounds of the mayoral contenders would have little or no influence on how they vote. Seven out of every ten polled indicated that a mayor would not share their concerns, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Leslie Hill, a guidance counselor from Auburn-Gresham interviewed by the Tribune for the article, said race would be a factor in how she votes, but it doesn't guarantee that she's voting for Braun or the other two African Americans on the ballot, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins and William "Dock" Walls III.

"(T)he person I choose has to understand that Chicago is very diverse and you have a large pool of people who pay taxes like everyone else and who are consumers like everyone else and have not been getting their fair share."