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Political maverick goes to work against Rahm Emanuel

Maverick political activist Frank Coconate has signed on with mayoral challenger Willie Wilson. | Patrick L. Pyszka

On January 5—one of the coldest days of the winter—mayoral candidate Willie Wilson showed up at the Jefferson Park el stop to shake hands with the early-morning commuters.

A politician shaking hands with commuters may not seem extraordinary. But Wilson’s a black south-side businessman, and Jefferson Park’s a largely white northwest-side community that’s never been particularly receptive to black mayoral candidates.

The man who brought Wilson to Jefferson Park was none other than Frank Coconate—one of the most colorful political mavericks in town.

Somehow, then, it makes sense that Coconate signed on with Wilson after weeks of behind-the-scenes romancing with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s campaign.

That’s right: the ultimate outsider almost went to work for the ultimate insider. It just goes to show you there’s nothing more surreal than the stuff that happens all the time in Chicago politics.