Race and the mayor’s race

February 18, 2011

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(Getty Images/Scott Olson)
Ophelia Murillo shows her support for mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel at a rally in January.

Chicago goes to the polls Tuesday to elect a replacement for Mayor Richard M. Daley and new cadre of Aldermen.

We know that race has long been a factor in Chicago elections, even before Harold Washington’s opponents rallied their supporters with the racially charged slogan “Before it’s too late.”

Former 44th Ward Alderman Dick Simpson, who now heads the political science department at UIC, recently joined a panel of fellow historians for a conversation on Chicago’s mayoral politics. In the audio excerpt posted above he explains why voting in Chicago still happens along racial lines (but not like it used to) and why candidate Rahm Emanuel may not have the race for mayor sewn up as tightly some polls and pundits have predicted.

Dynamic Range showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Dick Simpson spoke to an audience assembled by The Society of Midland Authors in January. Click here to hear the event in its entirety, and click here to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast.