Sneed exclusive: Andrea Zopp is all in for Senate race

SHARE Sneed exclusive: Andrea Zopp is all in for Senate race

Andrea Zopp is ready to plunge into the race for U.S. Senate. | Sun-Times files

Zopp it to ya!

Sneed hears Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp, whose resume reads like a corporate bible, is all in.

• Translation: Top Sneed sources claim Zopp plans to run against Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and will make the announcement shortly.

On April 1, Sneed reported Zopp was mulling over such a run and encouraged to do so by former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, the brother and son of former Chicago mayors.


“She [Zopp] is now making phone calls, she is not waiting any longer,” a source said. “She feels the time is right now.”

Top Dem leaders, concerned about an absence of African-Americans on the Illinois Dem ticket — besides perennial candidate Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White — were urging Zopp, whose nickname is Andy, to run.

They point out Barack Obama will not be on the next ticket, which will be the first time since 2004.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a wounded Iraq war veteran, has already tossed her hat in the ring to run against Kirk.

Zopp, an attorney who is a distinguished corporate and civic leader, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and was the first woman and African-American to become the first assistant Cook County state’s attorney.

Lee’s way . . .

Pssst! Sneed hears whispers actor John Cusack, who hails from Chicago, will star as a Catholic priest in director Spike Lee’s controversial new film “Chiraq,” which focuses on street violence and will be filmed in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.

Is this a case of art imitating life?

• Real vs. reel: The Cusack character sure sounds reminiscent of Chicago’s peace priest, Father Michael Pfleger, who has been advising Lee on life near the Southwest Side’s St. Sabina Catholic Church where Pfleger is pastor — and where Lee’s press conference countering the film’s critics was held Thursday.

Sneed is also told Lee accompanied Pfleger to the funeral Tuesday of Brian Pridgeon, the brother of a St. Sabina parishioner who was shot and killed at 79thand Aberdeen streets last weekend. “It’s the first thing he [Lee] did when he got off the plane,” said Pfleger.

“Mr. Pridgeon was the brother of one of our peacemakers, a group which lets us know how we can bridge conflicts in the neighborhood,” he added.

• Hoop scoop: Later, Pfleger accompanied Lee to a Chicago Bulls basketball game Thursday night. A full day’s work, huh?

The secret garden . . .

This was just tossed into Sneed’s letter bin.

“Hi, Ms. Sneed,

“When you last reported in February, a spokeswoman for the city had said the water tower park would be dedicated for JaneByrnein late spring. Any update that you’re aware of?

“Thanks. K.D.”

Sneed is assured the plan for the Water Tower park honoring the late Mayor Jane Byrne, the city’s only woman mayor, is moving ahead — but at the rate it’s going . . . it may be too late to enjoy the blooms of Byrne’s favorite flowers, which include lilacs, hyacinths and tulips.

I spy . . .

A number of NBA coaches and general managers stopped by Gibsons on Wednesday, ahead of the Chicago Bulls’ sixth playoff game against the Cleveland Cavaliers — including Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd and Dallas Mavericks President Donnie Nelson. Managers from the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings dined at the steakhouse, as did Philadelphia 76ers player Joel Embiid.

Sneedlings . . .

Friday’s birthdays: Madeleine Albright, 78; Jamie Lynn Sigler, 34, and Zara Phillips, 34.

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