Watch CBS News

Emanuel Allies Slam Garcia As 'Novice,' While Chuy Seeks To Emulate Harold Washington

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia both pulled in more endorsements Friday, as the mayor tried to solidify his lead in the polls, and Garcia sought to build a Harold Washington-like coalition.

Emanuel received the backing of Rev. James Meeks, pastor of the Salem Baptist megachurch on the Far South Side, and Bishop Larry Trotter, as well as other prominent black ministers.

Meeks said the city has not fallen apart on Emanuel's watch, and he deserves another four years.

"You cannot turn a city like Chicago around in four years," he said.


Meantime, Garcia gladly picked up the backing of nurses, and transit unions, and community groups like Reclaim Chicago.

He said, like the late Harold Washington, he's trying to be the voice of people who haven't been heard. Garcia, who was an alderman allied with Mayor Washington in the 1980s, acknowledged he recently visited California to raise money for his campaign.

"The whole country is watching Chicago. Chicago is being looked at as an example of how ordinary people come together, unite, and forge a new path that ensures that there will be fairness and equity for working families in Chicago," he said.

Garcia said he can't match Emanuel's millions in campaign cash; but he said he doesn't have to, he just has to get his message out.


However, Bishop Larry Trotter and the ministers endorsing Emanuel were blunt in their criticism of Garcia.

"We do not want the city to be turned over to a novice," Trotter said. "We need someone who is already experienced, already building relationships, and already at the helm of the ship."

Emanuel and his supporters said the mayor is getting it right with education and crime.

"We were putting kids out on the street of the city of Chicago, on street corners, at 2:40 in the afternoon, and wishing them well for the rest of their lives," the mayor said.

Meeks, who recently was confirmed as Gov. Bruce Rauner's chairman for the Illinois State Board of Education, noted the mayor has taken a beating over closing 50 schools.

"I don't believe that the mayor intended to harm one child," Meeks said.

The mayor said he was honored and humbled to have the support, but he said it's more important to have it after the runoff election next month.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.