With his unexpected and fairly last minute announcement that he would not see re-election, Rahm Emanuel touched off a contentious mad-dash for candidates to get on the ballot for February’s election. No less than 15 candidates have thrown their hat in the ring, and major celebrities have even gotten involved.
Most recently, Susana Mendoza, fresh off winning re-election as IL Comptroller, announced her intention to run. Cook County board president and Democratic Party Chairwoman, Toni Preckwinkle is also going to be running, as well as former US Commerce Secretary Bill Daley – the brother and son to two former Chicago Mayors.
But it’s unlikely newcomer, 35-year-old Amara Enyia that has been grabbing the headlines, after two high profile hip-hop artists publicly endorsed her and even offered financial assistance. A fine for not properly filing campaign finance documents was paid by Kanye West, and Chance the Rapper has been advocating for her. Kanye subsequently added another $126k to the campaign, making a round $200k total contribution.
With polarizing players in the race such as controversial former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was fired by Emanuel over his handling of the Laquan McDonald police shooting case, the race to the polls is likely to be a wild ride.
Ex-Chicago Police Commander Indicted for Stealing $360k from Social Security
Some days it seems like the Chicago Police subscribe to the adage ‘even bad publicity is good publicity,’ but for the embattled agency, the opposite is true. Despite a long career working to reduce violent crime in one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods, Kenneth Johnson, 54, was indicted for allegedly engaging in a 23-year long scheme to steal benefits intended for his mother.
Johnson, who retired from a 32-year career in August, is scheduled to be arraigned later this month, and has been cooperating with authorities. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was notified of the charges Wednesday, and had the following to say in a statement:
“I am shocked and very disappointed by this news,” the superintendent said. “I knew Cmdr. Johnson well from his efforts to reduce violence in Englewood, but if proven, these allegations erode the public’s trust and tarnish his service to Chicago.”
The CPD also released a statement saying that they were not aware of these alleged offenses and did not have any open internal affairs investigations into retired Commander Johnson concerning the issue.
Winter Reminds Chicagoans It’s Coming, But The Holiday Week Looks Clear
While may in Chicago are wondering where Fall went, Winter has made a ‘soft’ appearance, with chilly temps and some light snow. For the most part, the slightly slick road conditions have been a minor inconvenience, but with next week’s upcoming Holiday, even a little snow can cause havoc.
Luckily the snow will push out of the area by late Saturday, leaving next week clear and unseasonably warm. Highs in the mid 40’s with sunshine is forecast for Thanksgiving, giving us one more thing to be thankful for.
Friday’s afternoon commute could be a real challenge, however, with snow starting mid-day and continuing overnight. Those trying to leave the work-week behind might find a longer than average commute, and drivers should use caution as the roads could become icy. Overnight temps in the low 20’s and wind-chills much lower will stick around for the weekend, but next week promises to mostly stay above freezing.
Congestion from Holiday traffic is predicted to be the busiest since 2005, with 54 million motorists scheduled to be on the roads. The worst is expected between 2:30 and 4:30PM on Wednesday, so if possible plan your trip for alternate times. As always, expect increased enforcement, so stay alert and attentive behind the wheel.