Sunday, November 13, 2005

According to his Russ Stewart column, state sen. James Clayborne(D-East St Louis) is still considering a bid for the Treasurer's office as is, per this post on Dan Johnson-Weinburger's blog, state rep John Fritchey. In an appearence on Jeff Berkowitz's "Public Affairs," in response to questions about a statewide Clayborne run, Fritchey declined to speculate, saying only that his colleague was a "leader on a number of issues." Clayborne raised headlines last spring with a high profile tort reform rant, in which he characterized trial lawyers as the "new slaveholders" and urged his fellow members of the Black Caucus to "get off the plantation." The tough-talking, Afro-sporting legislator from Metro East, a former prosecutor(like Flores), is now in private practice.

Writes Russ Stewart on the subject:
If Clayborne runs, he will have solid backing from his black base, in both Chicago and Downstate. If Clayborne beats [Alderman Manny]Flores in the primary, the alderman's credibility will take a huge hit, which could make him vulnerable in 2007. However, Clayborne's Senate term is up in 2006, so a treasurer's bid is an up-or-out proposition.
Conventional wisdom would confirm Stewart's augerings, but we could also witness an anti-Clayborne rebellion led by more liberal members of the black caucus and members loyal to senate president Emil Jones. Flores would satisfy the agitating of some prominent legislators for a Hispanic statewide candidate. Flores would benefit from his relative independence, but he and Clayborne could split the minority vote against a candidate like Fritchey-ceding to him the city of Chicago, and, in Mangieri's absence, the election. The battleground in such a four pronged race-or even a three way, if you'll pardon the expression, would be downstate-between Mangieri and Fritchey.

Knox County state's attorney Paul Mangieri, albeit prior to Topinka's gubernatorial announcement, garnered the state party's endorsement and is the only announced Democratic candidate for the office. Mangieri had made a failed run for lit. gubernatorial run in 2002.


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