Daley, Evans Stump Hard In Final Weekend; Vrdolyak Gets Bush Push With AM-Chicago Mayoral, Bjt
CHICAGO (AP) _ Mayoral front-runner Richard M. Daley sang with supporters Saturday, smiling and tapping his feet with his faithful in mostly white neighborhoods while top challenger Timothy Evans worked to boost black turnout in hopes of a miracle finish for Tuesday’s election.
Daley and Evans began the day at rallies in different parts of town, Daley warning Northwest Side supporters against complacency and Evans appearing with Jesse Jackson at Operation PUSH’s South Side headquarters.
″This election is not won by names, not won by endorsements and not won by polls,″ Daley said at a church.
Many in the crowd wore jackets sporting the logos of neighborhood taverns, and the three-term Cook County prosecutor accepted his own navy blue ″Elect Daley″ jacket.
The flagging campaign of Edward Vrdolyak got a boost Friday from President Bush, who endorsed the third-running Republican. ″He supported me and I don’t forget those things,″ Bush said in Washington. Vrdolyak’s plans for Saturday included a spaghetti dinner in his home ward and a rally organized by Hispanics.
Heading into Tuesday’s election, poll results show Daley’s support near 50 percent compared with about 35 percent for third-party candidate Evans, the lone black in the race. Vrdolyak, the former county Democratic chairman who switched parties and became the write-in GOP winner in February’s primary, has about 5 percent.
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners estimated that 70 percent of the 1.56 million voters in the nation’s third largest city would turn out Tuesday. Turnout is considered a crucial factor in the election to complete the last two years of the late Mayor Harold Washington’s second term.
Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, died in November 1987, only months into his second term.
Black turnout prospects brightened somewhat for Evans on Saturday when he won the endorsement of a key black minister who had been leaning toward Daley. The Rev. Wilbur Daniel, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, has a large South Side following.
″Give us this day our Tim Evans bread,″ Daniel said, punning on ″daily bread″ to the cheers of 1,500 people in the audience at PUSH.
Meanwhile, an enthusiastic crowd of about 300 greeted Daley and his wife, Maggie, in the basement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Luke.
Daley - son of the legendary political boss and six-term mayor, the late Richard J. Daley - entered to a standing ovation and sang along. He also delivered what has become his stump campaign speech.
″People are sick and tired of the name calling, the pettiness. ... I’ve been to every community in every part of this city and all people want to hear are the issues - education, crime, how to get the gangs out of their neighborhoods.″
Daley won the Democratic primary Feb. 28 over Mayor Eugene Sawyer, creating the possibility that Chicago would become by far the biggest U.S. city to replace a black incumbent with a white.
Chicago’s voting population is 48 percent white, 42 percent black and 7 percent Hispanic. Sawyer lost by 100,000 votes and many blamed low black turnout on Evans, his chief rival to succeed Washington.
Evans, a South Side alderman running on the Harold Washington Party ticket, began the day with an appearance at Operation PUSH. Later in the afternoon, Evans trekked to the far North Side and spoke to a racially mixed crowd of about 100 at the Rogers Park Presbyterian Church.
″All the issues that the press is trying to make you ignore are there,″ he said pointing to a table of his campaign literature, posters and buttons.