Hynes, Vrdolyak Compete for Remnants of Democratic Machine
CHICAGO (AP) _ Edward Vrdolyak and Thomas Hynes, both Democratic stalwarts before staging third-party bids in the city’s mayoral race, are struggling for control over the remnants of former Mayor Richard Daley’s political machine, according to a supporter of Mayor Harold Washington.
Nine days before the April 7 election, both appear more committed than ever to a political donnybrook that appears certain to guarantee Washington’s re- election.
″It’s ego, maybe, protection, probably ... certainly, the chance to control what’s left of the (regular Democratic) organization,″ said political strategist Don Rose, who joined the Washington camp after the mayor defeated former Mayor Jane Byrne in last month’s Democratic primary.
Vrdolyak, an alderman and the Cook County Democratic chairman, is running as the Illinois Solidarity Party candidate. Hynes, the Democratic Cook County assessor, is the candidate of the Chicago First Party ticket.
In its Sunday editions, the Chicago Tribune endorsed Washington, saying he had the potential to build a healthier city.
The Tribune cited Washington, the city’s first black mayor, for balancing the budget and improving city services but criticized him for allowing political cronies to influence city government and for a personal style it called combative rather than conciliatory.
In another development, a poll released Saturday showed Washington favored by more voters than all three of his opponents combined.
Washington’s first mayoral victory, in 1983, was heralded as the death knell for a once-vaunted political machine guided by Daley.
A handful of competing heirs, chief among them Vrdolyak, Hynes and the late mayor’s son, Cook County State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley, for control of the machine after Daley’s death.
Many point to Mrs. Byrne’s defeat by Washington in a one-on-one primary as proof the machine has been vanquished; others say that proof lies in the fact that Hynes and Vrdolyak both have stayed in the race two weeks past the deadline to withdraw.
Washington has captured more than 90 percent of the black vote in all three mayoral runs to date, twice in primaries and in the 1983 general election.
Both Hynes and Vrdolyak, who are white, have acknowledged the presence of the other on the ballot will siphon off enough white support to enable Washington to win.
The GOP candidate is Donald Haider, a one-time Democrat who was drafted by the Republicans.
Rose said that, assuming Washington cements control over the party, it may be possibile to rebuild the Daley machine in the suburbs.
″An increasing black and Hispanic constituency in the city ... make the county and suburban Democratic organizations increasingly attractive as whites shift there,″ he said.
″And even with what’s left to the regular Democrats in the city, the spoils are considerable.″