Chicago City Council committee recommends two 11th Ward finalists to replace Patrick Daley Thompson; Lightfoot reschedules his date

CHICAGO — A four-member selection committee has recommended two finalists to replace convict 11th Ward Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson – an Asian American, a no – but Mayor Lori Lightfoot delayed his choice.

Since Daley Thompson’s conviction and resignation last month, Lightfoot said she was determined to choose her replacement and have that person sworn in and seated in time to attend Wednesday’s city council meeting. .

This is why the commission of the regulations of the council was to meet Tuesday at 2 p.m. to confirm the choice of the mayor.

But on Monday night Rules Committee Chair Michelle Harris (8), who also serves as the mayor’s floor manager, abruptly canceled the meeting at Lightfoot’s request.

The mayor’s office did not explain the delay, except to say “a little more time is needed to ensure that ’11th Ward residents’ have the best possible representation.”

Harris served as ex-officio chairman of the four-member selection committee that chose two finalists from 27 applicants for the vacant 11th Ward position.

She declined to identify the finalists. Other sources said only one of the finalists was Asian American. Both intend to run for the permanent post in the February 2023 elections.

SEE MORE: 11th Ward Chicago: Mayor Lightfoot’s choice for Ald. Daley Thompson’s replacement could go down in history

Explaining the mayor’s abrupt decision to wait, Harris said: “She felt rushed and pressured. Interviews two days before city council. So she just wanted to take a break and make sure she got the right one. decision… It was the first time she had taken a (alderman) appointment”.

Both city ward maps were heading for a referendum vote on June 28 — one drawn for the black caucus and backed by 33 aldermen, the other favored by the Hispanic caucus — would turn the 11th Ward into the first ward of Chicago in which a majority of the population is Asian American.

This reflects a 31% gain in the Asian American population (to 192,586) in the 2020 census.

As a result, Lightfoot has been under pressure to pick an Asian American replacement for Thompson, giving that person a head start in what is almost certain to be a crowded field.

Even so, the mayor has made no such commitment.

“I understand that there is a lot of interest in choosing someone who is Asian. I will choose who I believe will best serve this community. … There are a number of things that happen in this service , especially around So I want to pick someone who’s willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work,” Lightfoot told reporters after the February city council meeting.

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“I want to choose the best person that comes forward. Someone who has great knowledge and a passion for this community, which is very diverse. I want to make sure we have someone who understands what it takes to to be an alderman, which is very hard work.”

Until last month, the Bridgeport borough’s 11th Precinct was represented by Thompson, nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and grandson of Daley’s father, the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. Thompson was forced to resign after being found guilty in U.S. District Court of lying to regulators and filing false tax returns.

Under state law, there is a 60-day window to fill Thompson’s seat.

Lightfoot maintained a surprisingly close relationship with Richard M. Daley, under whom she worked – first as chief of the Chicago Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards, then as senior deputy commissioner of police services. supply.

Had it not been for Daley Thompson’s conviction, Lightfoot might have chosen his replacement from candidates recommended by the Daley family.

If she wants to do the Daley family a favor without paying the political price, the mayor could choose a replacement, meaning someone who has no intention of running in the next election.

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire – Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2022.)

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