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Chicago April Polls

Photo Credit:
Edmond Dantès

I’m writing my ENOTES at the top of April as our issue goes to press and Spring means ‘April showers bring May flowers'. Synonymous with new life, we went to vote today to choose our new Mayor and Donald Trump was faced arraignment today on 34 counts. It’s A new day ya’ll.

It’s been no cake walk . . . this mayoral election campaign. It’s been something of an anomaly for Chicago. I mean we began with nine candidates, seven of which were Black, the remaining two were Chuy Garcia, Hispanic (Mexican) and Paul Vallas White (Greek) and I don’t mean (Alpha or Omega). Yep, eight candidates were running against the incumbent. We know what happened Election Day at the polls, leaving two men standing . . . the different visions of the two, both representing the Democratic Party. 

In the climate of today’s political fights, it’s comforting to know that you can belong to the same party and have differing views or perspectives on how things can be changed to benefit the people. I’ve been engaged with the Chicago election for that reason and was intrigued with the wider field of Democratic candidates this primary season, several whom we interviewed and hosted the Black Press Round Table with the 2023 Mayoral Candidates at our CNW offices. 

The race for mayor of Chicago ran neck and neck between former CPS CEO Paul Vallas and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, according to several polls published this past week. It remained constant with few authorities daring to call the election.

Northwestern University released a poll Tuesday by a coalition of Black and Latino nonprofits showed the two candidates with equal amounts of support a week ahead of their April 4 runoff election. Three other polls of likely voters show Vallas with single digit leads over Johnson.

Vallas and Johnson emerged as the top two from the crowded field with Vallas receiving about 33% of the vote while Johnson finished second with close to 22%. What makes the race close is that 13 percent of voters who remained are still undecided until today.

The question looms largely as to whether the 1 million other registered voters who sat out the election will join in this cycle and cast a vote. And, while nearly half of the Chicagoans who voted in February chose a different candidate, today’s vote was about change and just who are those voters, and who they in the end, thought worthy of their vote for mayor in today’s mayoral runoff election? Or if they decided to vote at all?

Both Candidates Johnson and Vallas had to step up their game in several areas. That meant that each had strong holds in certain precincts and weak links in others. February’s election showed that Vallas had his strongest finishes in precincts on the city’s far Northwest and Southwest sides and some precincts in and around downtown. Johnson’s strong support was in precincts on the city’s Near Northwest Side and along the lakefront on the Far North and South sides. Definitely interesting.

Newsflash. There were definitely Chicago folks, who had not supported either. In fact, more than 570 out of the city’s 1,291 precincts had not chosen Vallas or Johnson. Nearly, all of those precincts are located on the South and West sides in majority-Black and majority-Latino precincts that reflected leanings towards either incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot or Congressman Jesus “Chuy” García.

Lightfoot finished first in about two-thirds of those precincts and García carried nearly another third. Businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson, who finished fifth overall in February, carried another 14 precincts.

They were the votes worth chatting about. So, we know that Candidate Wilson threw his support behind Vallas, as did Candidates Sawyer and King. Candidates Garcia and Buckner chose to follow Rev Jesse Jackson and supported Johnson. 

The final question is who are you voting for and why? Make sure you choose wisely considering that for the next four years you are putting the city in their hands. Will his way or his way contribute to your success? Will his way or his way make a difference in your life? Will his way or his way advance your community? Will his way lead Chicago out of the crime ridden darkness and decrease the city’s debt? Will your choice for Mayor return Chicago to its former greatness? 

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About Author:

Visionary Kai EL´ Zabar has worked as CEO of arts organizations and as editor, writer and multimedia consultant accumulating a significant number of years in experience as an executive, journalist,publisher, public relations, media training, marketing, internal and external communications. Kai currently continues her life’s work as Editor-in-Chief Of Chicago News Weekly where she has resumed her column, “E NOTES.” She is ecstatic to be in the position to grace Chicago and the world with a publication that articulates the Black voice.



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