Daley Lukewarm on Vallas' Return

February 4, 2009

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Chicago Mayor Richard Daley offered a lukewarm response to news that his former schools chief Paul Vallas reportedly plans to run for Cook County Board President in 2010. Today the Chicago Sun-Times reported the news, adding Vallas name to what's shaping up to be a complicated race.

Vallas made gains as Daley's schools chief, but the two parted on not-the-best-of terms.

Today, Daley was asked about the news that Vallas was lining up a bid for Cook County Board President.

DALEY: I haven't heard anything.

The mayor offered a neither-here-nor-there type of response.

DALEY: Listen.  Anyone wants to run for public office, you're excited about.  People want to run for public office, you should be excited.

Daley didn't comment on the fact that Vallas reportedly plans to run as a Republican—or if he thinks embattled Board President Todd Stroger is politically vulnerable.

Vallas, a past-Democrat, lost to Rod Blagojevich in a run for governor, and has since worked on school reform efforts in Philadelphia and New Orleans.

The 2010 Board President race has a number of prospective contenders including, Chicago Alderman Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool.