Incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel will soon have some company on television, as another candidate is joining the campaign ad war.
Dr. Willie Wilson is the candidate Mayor Emanuel did not see coming: An African-American not named Karen Lewis or Toni Preckwinkle, with a lot of money.
Dr. Wilson held up copies of a $1 million personal check and the receipt for depositing the money in his campaign account.
“This will prove that we’re serious about this election,” he said.
Wilson said that by the weekend his campaign will begin airing its first commercial on broadcast and cable television.
“Willie Wilson is good for Chicago because he has a heart and compassion for people,” the ad says.
So far, only Mayor Emanuel has campaigned on broadcast television. On Christmas Eve, before he left on vacation, the incumbent suddenly dropped his challenge to Wilson’s nominating petitions.
“He met the threshold,” Emanuel said.
During his first news conference in nearly three weeks on Monday, the mayor had only one new detail about the mugging of his teenaged son, as the boy spoke on a cellphone outside the Emanuel home December 19.
“He was on the phone with his college counselor,” the mayor said. “They were on the phone at the moment of the event.”
Meanwhile, candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia greeted parents outside a Northwest Side school.
“We’re letting them know we have an education agenda that will stabilize Chicago Public Schools for all children,” Garcia said.
Alderman Bob Fioretti told reporters that if elected he would cut wasteful city contracts to hire 500 new police officers.
“Either we’re going to have strong neighborhoods and safe streets or we’re not,” Fioretti said.
Wilson, the one-time sharecropper with a seventh grade education who now owns a medical supply company, is the voice you’re likely to hear more of in the coming weeks, thanks to $1 million in the bank.
“We’re serious,” Wilson said. “And we’re going to win this race.”
Also during his event Monday morning, Wilson promised to re-open some of the public schools closed by the Emanuel administration, to push for an elected school board and to dismantle the city’s red light cameras.
Wilson will begin radio advertising as soon as Tuesday.