James Meeks is chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, and chair of the Illinois Senate’s education committee.
With the decision by Mayor Richard M. Daley not to seek reelection in Chicago next year, the potential field of candidates who hope to replace him could make for an interesting campaign. Congressmen Danny Davis and Luis Gutierrez are testing the waters for a City Hall bid, and former Senator Carol Moseley Braun is a part of the field as well. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is considered damaged by personal scandal and alleged ties to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. And current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is all but certain to throw his hat in the race as well.
This is the first wide open mayoral race in Chicago in years, and the best chance to elect a black mayor since Harold Washington died in 1987– provided the black vote is not divided. The Chicago City Council’s black caucus will decide on a consensus candidate, and one of the people on their short list is State Senator James Meeks.