As they say on my favorite business show, “Let’s Do the Numbers.”
As Chicago kicks off the 2015 mayoral campaign, the numbers tell the tale.
◆ 10 is the number of candidates who filed petitions last week to compete on the Feb. 24 mayoral election. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s opponents racked up impressive tallies of voter signatures. Democracy is alive and kicking in Chicago.
Emanuel reported in early with 43,000 signatures, according his campaign, down from the 90,000 he sported in 2010.
He is bested by opponents like Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who rolled in with 63,000; 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti at 55,000; even political novice and businessman Willie Wilson, who claimed 47,000.
◆ 12,500 is the number of valid signatures a mayoral candidate needs to qualify. Emanuel is coy on whether he will send in the lawyers to get some candidates tossed. If he does, his critics will hammer him as an anti-democratic, bad-boy bully.
For Emanuel, the more may be the merrier. Some of the African-American candidates, like Wilson, activist Amara Enyia and former Ald. Bob Shaw, could siphon off disgruntled voters from weightier contenders.