Maria Pappas mulling mayoral run: ‘I get what the city needs’
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Just months after declaring “I love my job, and I ain’t going anywhere,” Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said Tuesday that she might like to go to City Hall.
The veteran county politician said she is setting up an exploratory committee for a potential mayoral run and will begin polling in the next four or five days.
“I think I get it — I think I get what the city needs,” Pappas said. “I want to see the city go in the right direction.”
Pappas joins a long list of people now weighing a bid in the wake of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision not to seek re-election last week.
She pointed to her proven record of fiscal responsibility and her work automating her office over the past 20 years as key qualifications.
A lawyer with a PhD in psychology, Pappas, 69, has sought higher office before. She ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, finishing fourth in the eight-candidate Democratic Primary, which was won by Barack Obama. With 6 percent of the vote, she finished just ahead of Gery Chico, who is also mulling a mayoral run next year.
Pappas also ran for the Cook County Board presidency in 1994, losing to John Stroger.
The Near North Side resident is running unopposed for a sixth term as treasurer in November. In March, she beat primary challenger Peter Gariepy.
A week before winning the primary, Pappas told the Sun-Times repeatedly that no one is going to push her out of office, telling a reporter “I love my job, and I ain’t going anywhere.”
“Just the thought of anybody thinking that I’m going to leave because I’m old, fat and ugly — ain’t happening,” Pappas said at the time.