U.S Rep. Danny Davis might not be in the running to become the black consensus candidate for the upcoming mayoral race, but he’s not pulling any punches when it comes to critiquing his potential rivals.
Davis says he doesn’t think any of the Hispanic candidates vying to become the next mayor of Chicago have the chops to cross the finish line. Those candidates include Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle, former Chicago City Colleges Board Chairman Gery Chico and Rev Wilfredo De Jesus.
While Davis praised del Valle and Chico for their civic service, the congressman says he doesn’t think they have the “political base from which to spring,” adding he believes both candidates are in the same tier as perennial candidate William “Dock” Walls.
“There are no Hispanic candidates who have the chance of winning,” Davis said Thursday. “Do you think Miguel has a chance of winning? Do you think Gery Chico has a chance of winning? Do you think I have a chance of winning the lottery?”
Attempts to reach del Valle, Chico and De Jesus late Thursday evening were unsuccessful.
Davis’ comments come as the Chicago Coalition for Mayor knocked his name out of the running to become the group’s black consensus candidate, though Davis says he doesn’t know if that’s actually the case.
The coalition, which includes members of the Chicago City Council’s Black Caucus and various community organizations, revealed on Thursday that the list of possible consensus candidates has been narrowed to former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers. That’s down from four candidates announced earlier this week that included Davis and state Sen. James Meeks.
Despite being read the press release from the coalition’s communications team revealing the latest development, Davis says he’s not sure if he actually has been eliminated because he continues to receive calls of encouragement from coalition members.
The Austin resident said he hasn’t been directly contacted by the coalition’s selection committee, which he says is supposed to vote on candidates. He also says he’s been hearing of the committee’s decisions “secondhand” from other coalition members.
“It does seem kind of strange,” he said. “I bet James Meeks doesn’t know anymore than I do.”
Davis says his decision to move forward without the coalition’s backing will hinge on how much support the consensus candidate can garner.
“I don’t know how much unity this will represent,” Davis says. “Suppose the coalition decides to support Larry Rogers, and Carol Moseley Braun runs and James Meeks runs. What does that say?”
While Davis is considering his next move, mayoral candidate and Chicago Urban Prep Academy founder Tim King is moving forward with his campaign even though he’s out of the running to become the coalition’s consensus candidate.
King’s political consultant, Delmarie Cobb, says petitions will begin circulating this week. Cobb, whose clients include Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) and Freddrenna Lyle (6th), says the Chicago Coalition for Mayor is a “good effort,” but she doubts there will be a consensus black candidate.
“In a democracy, you let everyone run,” she says. “Let the voters decide.”