February 18, 2014

Washington to announce his candidacy for mayor

This article was originally published on November 9, 1982 and was re-printed on February 18, 2014 as part of the Maroon’s historical issue.

Illinois representative Harold Washington, a Hyde Park resident, will announce Wednesday his decision to run for Mayor of Chicago in 1983, according to Fifth Ward Committeeman Alan Dobry.

Washington will join State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley as challengers for Mayor Jane Byrne’s office. Many political analysts also expect Alderman Roman Pucinski of the 41st Ward to announce his intentions to run for Mayor after Washington confirms that he indeed will run.

Washington won-re-election last week as representative of the 1st congressional district, collecting 98 percent of the votes.

Dobry and Fifth Ward Alderman Lawrence S. Bloom have both said that they will support Washington’s mayoral bid. While the South Side Independent movement as a whole is expected to support Washington for mayor, several North Side Independent and some time allies of Dobry and Bloom, including Alderman Marty Oberman of the 43rd Ward and State Senator Dawn Clark Netsch, are expected to support Daley. Some black independent leaders, such as Alderman Allen Streeter and Alderwoman Marion Volini who have been somewhat supportive of Daley, may switch their allegiances to Washington after he declares his candidacy.

Renault Robinson, a Byrne-appointed member of the Chicago Housing Authority board and executive director of the Afro-American Police League, will direct Washington’s campaign.

In a four-way race between Mayor Byrne, Daley, Pucinski, and Washington, Daley would be expected to take the Southwest side and whatever Independent votes he can muster. Pucinski would try to capitalize on the city’s “ethnic” votes, most notably those of Chicago’s large Polish community. Washington would take the votes of the black community and also have several liberal independent supporters, while Byrne would use the powers of incumbency and the probably support of the Regular Democratic Organization in an attempt to gain re-election.

The Democratic mayoral primary will be held on Feb. 22, 1983, the same day as the first round of the non-partisan aldermanic elections.

The mayoral general election and the run-off round of the aldermanic elections will be held in April.