Just as in 2022’s Los Angeles mayoral race, there isn’t a Republican option on the ballot for Chicagoans looking to bounce one of the worst mayors this country has ever had, that being Lori Lightfoot. And, just as in 2022’s Los Angeles mayoral race, there is one Democrat who both has a shot at winning and doesn’t have terrible principles.
That candidate is Paul Vallas, whose “Public safety is a human right” campaign has severely triggered the leftists and their allies in the media. Somehow, though, the Chicago Sun-Times headline “Garcia, female supporters attack Vallas as a ‘fake Democrat’ who is an anti-abortion, pro-voucher threat to public school funding,” is more of an endorsement than a slam, at least to me. From the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Vallas pitches himself as the law-and-order candidate with the slogan that “public safety is a human right.” He has done pro-bono work on contract talks for the Fraternal Order of Police and has the endorsement of the Chicago Police Union. Voters may wager he has a better shot at getting the city back on track than Ms. Lightfoot, who cut the police budget in 2020. Politically, she owns the crime wave.
This week a new poll showed the race in a statistical dead heat and revealed that there are still a lot of undecideds.
According to a new Sun-Times/WBEZ poll conducted last week, Lori Lightfoot is at 17%, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia with 20%, and Paul Vallas at 18%. Willie Wilson came in fourth with 12%. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4%, and a large number of voters have yet to decide on their candidate.
Polling results, and the fact that Vallas has raised more than three times the dollars his two closest opponents have, prompted a wave of attacks from Lightfoot and other leftist candidates:
Mr. Vallas’s rise in the polls to around 18% is reflected in the missiles now coming his way. Ms. Lightfoot says he isn’t speaking up enough on abortion (he’s pro-choice). Mr. Garcia says he is a conservative “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” But nothing seems to stick. Since Jan. 1, Mr. Vallas has raised $2.4 million, compared with $829,000 for Mr. Garcia, $751,000 for Mr. Johnson and $739,000 for Ms. Lightfoot, according to political consultant Frank Calabrese.
. . .
A new Lightfoot campaign ad includes footage from a 2009 interview with Mr. Vallas saying. “I’m more of a Republican than a Democrat. . . . If I ran for public office, then I would be running as a Republican.”
Vallas ran for public office after that time — as a Democrat.
Since the abortion issue has been cited as a major positive factor for Democrats in the 2022 election, it’s not surprising it’s been brought up here. Vallas is personally opposed to abortion, but has stated that he is committed to “upholding a woman’s right to choose” and was endorsed by Planned Parenthood when he ran for office in 2002 and 2014.
Still, the leftist candidates are pouncing on Vallas’ personal pro-life belief and that 2009 edited video to make the laughable claim that he is the MAGA candidate. (*Cue Jussie Smollett*)
In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times published Friday, Vallas hit back.
“I’m the frontrunner. That’s the reason. They know I’ve got momentum. They know I’m rising in the polls. They know that I’m a threat. And this time, they’re gonna try to attack me personally as opposed to challenge me on the issues.”
Vallas once again tied his personal opposition to abortion to his Greek Orthodox faith.
“Personal religious conviction is unrelated to my public position supporting women’s reproductive rights. It’s like asking Joe Biden as a Catholic, ‘Are you for abortion?’ Or Rich Daley. Or John Kennedy,” he said.
Vallas made no apologies for his support for school vouchers — a position that has infuriated a Chicago Teachers Union that’s bankrolling CTU organizer Brandon Johnson.
“If parents want to send their kids to parochial and private schools because they believe their local school is unsafe and not up to academic standards, parents should have the opportunity to participate in a scholarship program and receive tuition support to go to the schools of their choice,” he said.
Vallas’ public positions aren’t those of a conservative dream candidate, but his positions on public safety, school vouchers, and the fact that the Chicago Teachers Union can’t stand him will make him a vast improvement over Lori Lightfoot.